* EU ministers to discuss Iran after Trump ultimatum
* France says has started talks with Iran on ballistic missiles
* Iran denies, says will not talk about such issues
France's foreign minister accused Iran on Monday of not respecting part of a UN resolution that calls on Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Speaking on arrival at a European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Jean-Yves Le Drian also said the 28 ministers would reiterate their concerns over Iran's activities in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, which he described as destabilising.
‘We will also have the opportunity of underlining our firmness on Iran's compliance with United Nations Resolution 2231, which limits access to ballistic capacity and which Iran does not respect,’ Le Drian said.
Under the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran is ‘called upon’ to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to 8 years.
Some states say this phrasing does not make it an obligatory commitment.
Iran has repeatedly said its missile programme is purely defensive and denied they are designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Le Drian on Sunday said he would travel to Iran in March and that France had begun talks with Tehran to discuss its missile programme and regional activities.
But Iran's foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed the suggestion of talks on either issue.
‘If there is such a quote (from the French foreign minister) that we held talks, we deny it. We have not had any negotiations about our missile and defence capabilities and will not talk about these issues with others,’ Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday.
With US President Donald Trump warning of a last chance for ‘the worst deal ever negotiated’, Britain, France and Germany have begun talks on a plan to satisfy him by addressing Iran's ballistic missile tests and its regional influence while preserving the 2015 accord.
‘The French foreign minister is not familiar with Iranian society yet,’ Qasemi said. ‘Iran has proved that it would not change course under pressure.
‘We should surely discuss Iran's influence in the region because it has been a positive one and everyone has benefited from it. Without Iran's influence, terrorists (would have) captured Damascus and Baghdad,’ he said.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Sweden should have done more to combat coronavirus, health chief says
Covid-19 death toll among nurses doubled in past month, says nurses group
Italy reopens to tourists from Europe
Massive thermal plant fuel leak pollutes Siberian river
Ministers ‘misleading public’ on virus tests
Travel firms cut prices by 65% on holiday packages
Paris police chief defends force on ‘racism’ claims
MPs abandon remote voting despite pandemic
'Endemic racial discrimination' exposed in US: UN rights chief