The French government responded Tuesday to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Monday night address regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program, stating that Netanyahu’s revelations highlight the importance of maintaining the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal.
In a dramatic televised address Monday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu revealed to the public information gathered from Iran’s nuclear weapons program, proving that the Tehran regime had lied about its efforts to acquire atomic weapons.
The address comes less than two weeks before the May 12th deadline imposed by President Donald Trump to reimpose sanctions on Iran if no agreement is reached to supplement the existing deal.
While President Trump hailed the address, saying it sent “the right message”, European leaders said the newly-released information would not change their position on the JCPOA.
“What I have seen from the first reports is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran's compliance with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments, meaning post-2015 nuclear commitments,” said European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.
“The JCPOA, the nuclear agreement, is not based on assumptions of good faith or trust - it is based on concrete commitments, verification mechanisms and a very strict monitoring of facts, done by the IAEA. The IAEA has published 10 reports, certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments,” continued Mogherini.
A British spokesman echoed this point in a statement Monday evening.
“We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions. That is why the IAEA inspection regime agreed as part of the Iran nuclear deal is one of the most extensive and robust in the history of international nuclear accords,” the spokesman said.
“It remains a vitally important way of independently verifying that Iran is adhering to the deal and that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful,” he added.
On Tuesday, France’s Foreign Ministry weighed in, expressing its continued support for the Iran deal, arguing that the information provided by Netanyahu Monday night “reinforced” the importance of maintaining the agreement.
"At first sight, they [the details] confirm that part of the Iranian nuclear program, as France and its partners stated during the first revelations in the summer of 2002, was not civilian," a ministry spokesperson said, according to AFP.
"The pertinence of the deal is reinforced by the details presented by Israel: all activity linked to the development of a nuclear weapon is permanently forbidden by the deal," the spokesperson added.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with President Trump in April in a bid to lobby in favor of maintaining the JCPOA.
“I don’t have a plan B,” Macron told Fox News during his trip to the US. “Let’s present this framework because it’s better than the sort of North Korean-type situation.”