Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron flew to the Middle East in an attempt to garner support for amending the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) to include restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme, which falls totally outside the JCPOA as agreed by Iran, the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and the EU as a whole in 2015.
France along with Germany, Britain and other EU colleagues, have been strongly supportive of maintaining the successful JCPOA in spite of the US Trump administration’s desire to either scrap the deal or amend it beyond recognition.
As many French businesses, including the energy giant Total conduct large scale business in Iran, Macron is under pressure from many in France to work to preserve the deal, while clearly he is also under pressure from the Trump White House to hit out at Iran.
Macron’s attempt to amend the JCPOA to include ballistic missiles has been met with a clear response from Iran. Iran has stated that it is happy and willing to work with European partners to preserve the JCPOA, but not to water it down in attempts to placate a US administration which has done nothing but rehash Israeli propaganda about Iran in attempts to destroy a deal that the UN has said is working perfectly.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi has released the following statement which affirms Iran’s position:
“France is fully aware of our country’s firm position that Iran’s defense affairs are not negotiable”.
Macron also failed in the second aim of his trip which including a visit to Saudi Arabia to investigate the whereabouts of Saudi deposed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Macron apparently has not discovered any new information, while Lebanese President Michel Aoun has described Hariri as “kidnapped” by the Saudi regime.