France gainsays Trump, highlights Iran’s role in Mideast peace

Mon May 22, 2017 9:54PM
French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on May 18, 2017 for the first defence council since the new French president took office. (Photos by AFP)
French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on May 18, 2017 for the first defence council since the new French president took office. (Photos by AFP)

France has called for further political ties with Iran as it has an “important role in the pacification” of the region.

Foreign Minister “Jean-Yves Le Drian will work towards developing political dialogue that should be part of a constructive approach with regard to solving regional crises,” said the French Foreign Ministry on Monday.

France’s stance is contradictory to comments made by US President Donald Trump, who accused Tehran of funding terrorism and stoking the fires of sectarian conflict in the region, and called on all nations to work towards isolating Iran.

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Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has reacted to Trump’s remarks, and urged US to stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, which is one of the “main sponsors of terrorism.”

“Unfortunately, under the hostile and aggressive policies of the American statesmen, we are witnessing a renewed strengthening of terrorist groups in the region and miscalculation of the dictatorships which support these groups,” he said.

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017.

“Once again, by his meddlesome and baseless claims about Iran, the American president tried to encourage the countries of the region to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also noted that Trump’s recent anti-Tehran remarks were aimed at “milking” Saudi Arabia.

“Iran — fresh from real elections — attacked by @POTUS in that bastion of democracy & moderation. Foreign Policy or simply milking KSA of $480B?” Zarif tweeted on Sunday.

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Iran welcomes anti-terror cooperation

During a phone conversation with newly inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, Iran is ready for cooperation on all levels with other countries, including France, to battle terrorism and to resolve the Syrian crisis.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on May 22, 2017.

Rouhani added that he was positive that with more cooperation, better conditions can be established for the people of the region.

“We must return peace and stability back to the region. We hope Europe does not fall into the trap of countries that encourage their wrong interpretations of the region,” Rouhani added.

The newly re-elected Iranian president also stressed that Iran has been faithful to all its JCPOA commitments, and will spare no effort towards a world without nuclear arms.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016. Under the agreement, Iran accepted to put limitations on its program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

French President Emmanuel Macron looks on as he delivers a joint press briefing with Italian Prime Minister (unseen) during their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 21, 2017.

Macron, who had contacted Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election, stressed the importance of the JCPOA and noted that supporting the historic nuclear deal was important for developing mutual ties.

Sun May 21, 2017 2:26PM
Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri
Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri

Iran’s chief Armed Forces spokesman has criticized the United States’ ignorance of the Islamic Republic’s policies, saying that the withdrawal of US forces from the Middle East is the only way to restore peace and tranquility to the region.

“The only way to [restore] peace and tranquility to the region is the departure of the Americans and the renunciation of aggressive and terrorist operations by dependent and reactionary regimes against independent countries,” Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Sunday.

Jazayeri was reacting to recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday to end the country’s ballistic missile tests in what is Washington’s first reaction to his reelection.

Speaking to reporters in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, he repeated a Western accusation that Iran supports terrorism and said, “What I would hope, is that Rouhani … [would] use that [new] term to begin a process of dismantling Iran’s network of terrorism, dismantling its financing of the terrorist networks, dismantling the manning and the logistics and everything that they provide to these destabilizing forces that exist in this region.”

The top Iranian commander rejected the claims, saying that the US foreign secretary’s expectations from Tehran stem from the “ignorance of the American officials with regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He added that the resistance front in the region is currently at its best and is well capable of countering military and terrorist measures.

“The defense policies and objectives of the Islamic Republic of Iran are being executed as part of a well-defined process and no factor can hinder them,” Jazayeri said.

Considering the ongoing regional and international conditions, and since Iran’s Islamic Revolution has sworn enemies, continuation, acceleration and deepening of defense objectives, including development of missile systems, are among the country’s priorities, he pointed out.

On April 23, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan underlined the country’s resolve to boost its military might, saying the Islamic Republic would leave no stone unturned in developing its missile capabilities.

In recent years, Iran has broken new grounds with regard to its defense capability and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

The country has also conducted military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its Armed Forces and to test modern military tactics and state-of-the-art army equipment.

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