Iran rejects France suggestion of new nuclear talks

Iran rejects France suggestion of new nuclear talks
Iran won't reopen talks on its nuclear programme, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
2 min read
07 June, 2019
Iran has ramped up its nuclear programme [Getty]

Iran on Friday rejected a suggestion made by France to re-open talks on the country's nuclear programme, following crippling US sanctions on Tehran and rising tensions in the Gulf region.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned that "bringing up issues that are beyond the JCPOA [nuclear deal] does not help in saving the JCPOA, but will instead cause increased distrust among the remaining parties" to the deal.

In a statement on Iran's foreign ministry's website, Mousavi said that European countries that had were party to the nuclear deal had been "incapable of acting upon their commitments".

He added that making new deals would "only help America in nearing its objective - the collapse of the JCPOA [nuclear agreement]".

European allies of the US are also angered by President Donald Trump's decision last year to cancel the landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and have been eager to keep the deal alive.

Trump's administration said the decision was based on Iran's ballistics missile programme and regional expansionism.

President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that his goal of "regional peace" would require new negotiations, saying that France also intended to rein in Iran's nuclear and ballistics activities and its regional influence. 

The JCPOA was an agreement between world powers - including France and the US - that gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Despite Trump pulling the US out of the deal, Iran had until recently remained in full compliance with the stipulations of the agreement. European and other powers have struggled to bypass US sanctions, meaning the deal is effectively dead.

Last month, Iran responded by ending its adherence to certain limits on enrichment activities under the accord. Tehran also gave an ultimatum to the remaining parties of the agreement that it would end other points in the agreement unless they promised sanctions relief.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded on Friday that Iran bring its missile programme "back inside a set of constraints" laid out in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif responded by saying that the US had "violated" the same resolution by withdrawing from the nuclear deal and was "in no position to push a conceited interpretation of its missile provision".

He also said that the pledge called on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles DESIGNED to be capable of delivering NUCLEAR weapons".

"Our missiles are not 'designed' for nukes, which we're not developing," he said.