France tells Iran new sanctions loom if missile talks fail
PARIS (Reuters) - France is ready to impose further sanctions on Iran if no progress is made in talks over its ballistic missile programme, the French foreign minister said on Friday. Jean-Yves Le Drian, who this week reiterated support for a European-backed system to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and circumvent U.S
PARIS (Reuters) - France is ready to impose further sanctions on Iran if no progress is made in talks over its ballistic missile programme, the French foreign minister said on Friday.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, who this week reiterated support for a European-backed system to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and circumvent U.S. sanctions, said France wanted to see Tehran rein in its missile activity.
"We are ready, if the talks don't yield results, to apply sanctions firmly, and they know it," Le Drian told reporters.
In response, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi "reiterated that any new sanctions by European countries would lead to a re-evaluation by Iran of its interactions with those countries", the state news agency IRNA reported.
"Iran's missile capability is not negotiable, and this has been brought to the attention of the French side during the ongoing political dialogue between Iran and France," Qasemi added.
A U.N. Security Council resolution enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in which Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment programme in exchange for an end to international sanctions.
The resolution says Iran is "called upon" to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Iran denies its missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Last May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, approved before he took office, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, saying it was flawed as it did not address ballistic missiles or Iran's support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
The European signatories to the deal stuck with it, saying it is the best way to keep Iran's nuclear work in check.
But U.S. sanctions over dollar transactions have made investors wary about doing business with Iran, something the European-backed special purpose vehicle (SPV) is meant to tackle.
Diplomats previously told Reuters that new sanctions being considered by EU countries over the missile issue could include asset freezes and travel bans on Iran's Revolutionary Guards and people involved in the ballistic missile programme.
(Reporting by John Irish; Additional reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Lough and Robin Pomeroy)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.