Days before the renewal of the Geneva nuclear talks, Iran and France have continued to trade tough statements.
French President Francois Hollande, in an address to the Israeli Knesset, said Paris would not allow Iran to secure a nuclear weapon and would not release pressure unless it was assured that Tehran could not do so:
We have nothing against Iran, or its people, but we cannot allow Iran to get nuclear arms as it is a threat to Israel and the region.
We will maintain the sanctions as long as we are not certain that Iran has definitively renounced its military program.
Hollande, whose delegation blocked an interim deal at Geneva 10 days ago, has set four conditions for any agreement including a halt to construction of the Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor; suspension of Iran’s production of 20% enriched uranium, with arrangements to control the existing stock; and tightened inspections.
As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that “excessive demands” could undermine the talks this week, Iran’s military put out a message of strength on Monday with the unveiling of its largest domestically-built drone.
Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Fotros has an operational radius of up to 2,000 kilometers (1240 miles), an operational altitude of 25,000 feet, and flight endurance of up to 30 hours, said the defense chief.
Dehghan said the drone can be used for reconnaissance and surveillance, and has the potential to carry out combat operations once it is armed with air-to-surface missiles or other types of rockets.
Kerry Postpones Friday Trip to Israel Because of Nuclear Talks
Is this a signal that the US does not want a public confrontation with Israel as it moves towards a possible nuclear deal with Iran?
Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday has postponed a trip to West Jerusalem scheduled for Friday.
“As the secretary stated, they’ve discussed the best timing for the visit,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, declaring that Kerry plans to travel to Israel in the next “several weeks”.
She added, “Obviously there’s a lot going on right now.”
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