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French FM to Visit Iran over its ‘Destabilizing Military Influence’

French FM to Visit Iran over its ‘Destabilizing Military Influence’

Monday, 22 January, 2018 - 10:30
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with daily Le Figaro published on Monday that he would visit Iran on March 5 after he had postponed a trip to Tehran earlier this month over anti-government protests in several Iranian cities.

"We have embarked upon a dialogue with Iran on the issue of ballistics and regional questions," Le Figaro quoted Le Drian as saying.

He said he would raise Iran’s “destabilizing military influence in the Middle East”, notably its support for Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” and Yemen’s Houthi militias.

"That is why ... I shall go to Iran on March 5," said Le Drian, who will hold talks with counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif.

US President Donald Trump made an ultimatum to Britain, France and Germany on January 12 to “fix” the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran or he would withdraw.

The European Union has defended the accord, warning that abandoning it would be a mistake.

“If Iran wants to return to the concert of nations, it must cooperate on these questions,” said Le Drian.

“Otherwise, it will with reason always be suspected of wanting to develop nuclear weapons,” he added.

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