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Tehran urges France not to act under influence

13 November 2017

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has responded to the call of the French President to hold talks on the country's ballistic missile program, firmly rejecting the idea and noting that it is exclusively defensive in nature.

"France' officials including its president are well aware that levelling false accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran stands in stark contradiction to the realities of the Middle East over the past decades", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

"France is fully aware of our country's firm position that Iran's defence affairs are not negotiable", said Qassemi brushing aside the French leader's request, adding that "other issues will not be allowed to be added to it (the deal)".

"The missile which was intercepted by Saudi Arabia launched from Yemen, which obviously is an Iranian missile, shows precisely the strength of their" program, Macron said late on November 9 as he visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He raised the prospect of possible sanctions with regard to those activities.

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Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

The deal between Tehran and six world powers including France, Russia, the US, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom involves the removal of sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

Macron, on a visit to the UAE said it was vital to work with Saudi Arabia for the stability of the region and to fight terrorism.

The deal also includes an option for two more vessels, the French presidency said in a statement.

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Qassemi urged France to pursue "realistic, fair and far-sighted" policies on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.

"We maintain that France should responsibly convince its regional allies in the Persian Gulf region to adopt sensible policies and approaches far from excitement", he added. He then mentioned that "there are extremely strong concerns about Iran" among its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

The ballistic missile launched on November 4 was shot down near Riyadh's global airport, but was the first to get so close to the Saudi capital. While Iran denies allegations it provides weapons to the rebels, Macron said the missile was "obviously" Iranian, echoing U.S. claims.

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Tehran urges France not to act under influence