Macron Says France Disagrees with Saudi Arabia on Iran

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Iran has rejected a call by French President Emmanuel Macron for talks on Tehran's ballistic missiles.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said its missile programme was defensive and unrelated to the landmark nuclear deal that put a cap on Iran's nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief. "There is no direct link between nuclear and ballistic programs of Iran in the text [of the agreement]", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in October.

The Iranian statement came after the French President during a visit to Dubai said that he is very concerned over Iran's ballistic missile program and stressed the need to start negotiations on it.

"We have told French officials repeatedly that the nuclear deal is not negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it".

Paris is a signatory to the Iran nuclear deal, which was also signed by five other major powers, namely the US, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany, to roll back Tehran's nuclear program in return for easing the global sanctions.

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Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Iran of supplying missiles and other weapons to the Houthis, saying the arms were not present in Yemen before the conflict broke out in 2015. Paris, according to the spokesman, should remain "realistic, fair and farsighted" over "sensitive developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf regions".

While U.S. President Donald Trump decertified the agreement and imposed sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The fate of the deal has fallen on the US Congress which has 60 days to reimpose nuclear sanctions.

"We expect France not to be swayed by inculcation and false signals sent by certain countries in the Persian Gulf region against the Islamic Republic of Iran", the Iranian spokesperson said.

Macron, on Thursday, expressed concern about the program following allegations by Saudi Arabia that they recently intercepted a missile fired from Yemen. A charge Iran strongly denies and, in turn, blames Riyadh.

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