Macron: Iran ballistic missiles 'very worrying'

French President won't rule out new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, but reiterates nuclear deal must not be canceled.

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Elad Benari,

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron
Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he did not rule out new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program.

According to the Russian Sputnik news agency, Macron said Iran's ballistic missile program was "very worrying" and said additional measures against the Islamic Republic should be included in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which should not be canceled.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview with Time magazine published Thursday and quoted by AFP, Macron warned that U.S. pressure to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal could push Tehran into deciding to build its own nuclear weapons.

"If you want to stop any relation with Iran regarding nuclear activity, you will create a new North Korea," he said, adding, "If you stop the 2015 agreement, what's your other option? To launch war? To attack Iran? I think it would be crazy in the region.”

Macron called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in July 2015 between Iran and six powers, including France and the United States, "the best possible deal regarding Iran."

The French president and other officials in the country have repeatedly stressed they believe there is no alternative to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, despite President Donald Trump's refusal to recertify Iran's compliance with it.

If the U.S. abrogates the Iran deal, Macron said, it will backfire.

"Because it's exactly what we experienced with North Korea. And suddenly you will wake up in ten to twelve years time without any control, but (Iran) having the nuclear weapon," he told Time.

EU member countries Britain, France and Germany remain firm backers of the Iran nuclear agreement and have criticized Trump for threatening to scrap it.

In addition to its nuclear aspirations, Iran's ballistic missile program remains a concern as well. The Islamic Republic has several times test-fired ballistic missiles in recent months, raising the ire of the West.

The United States has already imposed sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate UN resolutions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.








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