Macron Says France Disagrees with Saudi Arabia on Iran

Sergio Conner
November 13, 2017

"France' officials including its president are well aware that levelling false accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran stands in stark contradiction to the realities of the Middle East over the past decades", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

"There are negotiations we need to start on Iran's ballistic missiles", Macron said.

The French head of state has made efforts to preserve the deal, telling Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, last month, that France remained committed to the deal while stressing the need for dialogue. During his visit to Dubai on Thursday, he referred to a missile which was sacked from Yemen and intercepted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

Earlier this year, Dubai media reported that bilateral trade between the two countries was estimated at 5.6 billion US dollars in 2016.

"It's not about showing any naivety towards Iran, it is about standing beside our allies, in particular the United Arab Emirates".

In his interview with the Time magazine, Macron also appeared to be supporting Washington's position on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities.

Macron met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later on November 9 and "expressed France's condemnation of targeting Riyadh city by a ballistic missile", according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

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Macron, on a visit to the UAE said it was vital to work with Saudi Arabia for the stability of the region and to fight terrorism.

Iran denies the allegations and says its missiles are needed for self-defense and that its nuclear program has purely peaceful aims.

The president proposed revising the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, saying it "must be preserved", but "complemented with two pillars," which would include "a negotiation on the ballistic activity of Iran, with sanctions if necessary, " and a discussion on "restraining Iranian hegemony in the region".

The deal between Tehran and six world powers including France, Russia, the US, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom involves the removal of sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

"If we were to walk away from it, it would lead to either immediate war or an absence of control", he said.

He made the remarks during his speech at the UAE-French Business Forum in Dubai, the Dubai Chamber of Business, Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

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