Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Iran urges France to be realistic, not to act under influences

France's President Emmanuel Macron meets with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in New York for the UN General Assembly Iran urges France to be realistic, not to act under influences
Melinda Barton | 12 November, 2017, 11:41

The French head of state, who was wrapping up a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, also announced a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia in his presser.

The ballistic missile launched on November 4 was shot down near Riyadh's worldwide airport, but was the first to get so close to the Saudi capital.

In an interview with the Time magazine, published on Thursday, Macron claimed that a recent missile attack by Yemen's Houthi fighters on Saudi Arabia was "part of this ballistic activity of Iran in the region".

"I've heard some very hard positions" taken by Saudi Arabia against Iran, Macron told a news conference in Dubai before his visit, adding it was important to speak to all sides and that France had a role in making peace.

Tehran has dismissed the accusation, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stating that Riyadh was trying to blame others for the consequences of its aggression in Yemen.

They also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the efforts being exerted for the security and stability of the region, including joint coordination in the fight against terrorism.

The nuclear deal Tehran struck with world powers is "not negotiable", Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi has said in response to remarks by the French president.

France has been trying to salvage the 2015 accord which Iran signed with six world powers - Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the United States - as it is repeatedly lambasted by U.S. president Donald Trump.

Macron has said he will travel to Iran in 2018, potentially becoming the first French president to travel there since 1971. Riyadh called on Saudi citizens in Lebanon to leave the country on Thursday amid the growing hostilities with Iran.

"I believe it's important that we work with Saudi Arabia for the objective of guaranteeing stability", Macron said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have imposed a complete blockade on Yemen in the wake of the Huthi missile attack, as the United Nations warns that the Arab world's poorest country faces the risk of a mass starvation.

US authorities are investigating how the missile was smuggled into Yemen despite a Saudi-led coalition controlling the country's airspace.