Aug 25, 2019, 1:27 AM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83449387
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Constructive talks between Tehran, Paris in heart of EU

Tehran, Aug 24, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit to France and his meeting with high-ranking officials in the host country, though not highly detailed, was assessed as constructive overall; talks that have increased hope to save the JCPOA and reduce regional disagreements.

During his visit to France, FM Zarif met with high-ranking officials of the host country, including President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian; the talks were ranged from bilateral relations to the latest regional developments and implementation of the JCPOA.

Except for a few personal interviews and comments, many details of the talks in Paris have not been released, but both sides find it satisfactory and Zarif has described Macron's meeting "good and constructive".

It should be noted that Zarif's trips to France have not taken place without an arrangement, and in recent months we have witnessed repeated phone talks between the Presidents of the two countries, while Tehran has hosted the diplomatic adviser to French president "Emmanuel Bonne" twice in recent months.

Zarif's trip to France came at a time when the country is hosting the G7 summit of industrialized nations in the French city of Biarritz on Saturday with the US, Canadian, French, German, British, Italian and Japanese leaders and is expected to focus on the JCPOA and Iran as well as issues such as Ukraine, Syria, Brexit and so on.

According to analysts, the meeting of French officials with Zarif on the eve of the G7 summit of industrial nations could be a sign of Tehran-Paris coordination in areas such as the nuclear deal and recent tensions in the Persian Gulf, as countries like France and Germany are among the influential EU players who have rejected Donald Trump's call to join the US maritime alliance against Iran and have taken the step to ease tensions.

But France's attempt to mediate and reduce the volume of recent disagreements between Tehran and Washington has apparently not been a matter of pleasing Trump; a sign evident in Trump's two recent tweets.

The president of the United States claimed in a tweet on August 8 that Iran is in serious financial trouble. They are seriously seeking to talk to the US, but they are given mixed signals from everyone who seems to represent us, including from French President Macron. In Trump's second tweet, however, his tone softened and wrote that he knows that Emmanuel Macron has a good intention, just as everyone else does, but no one speaks for the United States except the United States itself. No one is allowed to represent the US in any way.

Trump's remarks were unanswered from the Elysee Palace and met with reaction from the French Foreign Ministry. The day after the US President's tweets were released, the French Foreign Minister made it clear that his country did not need any authorization to comment on Iran-related issues. He also added that France speaks about Iran with regard to sovereignty. France is committed and working hard for peace and security in the region. France is also working to provide a means to ease tensions and does not require any authorization.

France's initiative of rescuing the JCPOA and solving Iran and the US in the nuclear deal and regional issues began when Tehran took steps to reduce its commitments on the anniversary of the White House's departure of the JCPOA. Since May 8, based on the Supreme National Security Council approval, Tehran has reduced its commitments by emphasizing Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.

Tehran, in first step, crossed uranium enrichment reserves beyond the 300kg limit. In the second step, taken in the first days of July Iran increased enrichment from 3.67 percent to 4.5 percent.

Iran is now on the threshold of its third step in the JCPOA, a deadline which is due to expire on September 7, and according to Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman and deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, increasing the number of centrifuges, reinstalling IR-2 and IR-2M centrifuges, increasing the number of centrifuges active in the enrichment and 20 percent- enrichment cascades are among the options in step three.

The European Union, especially France, which has always had a political and security focus on the JCPOA, views the collapse of the agreement as paving ground for tensions and crises that will draw across geographical boundaries, such as immigration and terrorism. As a result, following diplomatic steps taken by Tehran and parallel to rising tensions in the Persian Gulf, the diplomatic strives in Paris have entered a more dynamic phase.

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