Iran angered by French diplomat's nuclear claims

Iran angered by French diplomat's nuclear claims
Iran has complained about a French diplomat who Iran could enrich uranium after 2025.
2 min read
15 April, 2019
Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful [Getty]

Iran has complained to Paris about comments made by the French ambassador to the US regarding alleged Tehran plans to enrich uranium.

Gérard Araud, France's ambassador to Washington tweeted this weekend: "It's false to say that at the expiration of the JCPOA (the nuclear deal with western countries), Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium."

Araud took part in the landmark 2016 nuclear deal between Iran, European countries, Russia, China and the US, which has been ruptured after President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement last year.

The French ambassador, who is due to retire later this month, also said sanctions could have been re-imposed on Tehran.

The 2015 deal imposed restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, due to fears Tehran was trying to enrich uranium with the mission of building a nuclear arsenal.

Iran has strongly insisted its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful with the aim of providing power for the country and allow it to export its oil and gas.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said of Araud's words were "a major violation of the object and purpose of the JCPOA", according to Reuters, adding they needed "immediate clarification by Paris, or we act accordingly".

Iran has been hit hard by the new US sanctions, while European powers have been working hard to save the deal despite Tehran insisting the EU is acting too slowly.

The sanctions has entrenched power for Iran's ultra-conservatives, while side-lining moderates who helped broker the deal, experts say.