French foreign minister in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials

IRNA – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Tehran early Monday for talks with Iranian officials on the most important regional and international issues as well as bilateral ties.

Le Drian who is leading a ranking delegation in his Tehran visit is scheduled to hold talks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other senior officials of the country Monday morning.

Exploring ways of expanding mutual relations and holding talks on major regional and international issues are the axis of Le Drian’s talks in Tehran.

Jean -Mark Ayrault, was the last ranking French official who visited Tehran in March of 2017 as the then foreign minister of the country.

Iran and France enjoy historical relations and in some fields their share common views from geopolitical points of view. They can talks on a variety of issues such as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Syria crisis and other regional issues.

Earlier in January, in an interview with La Figaro, Le Drian announced that he had been in contact with his Iranian counterpart since President Emmanuel Macron took office in France in May 2017.

The policy of dialogue and interaction adopted by the Paris government accounts for continuation of political talks between Iran and France. Paris is well aware of the important and influential position of the Islamic Republic in the Middle East and France as a European power and an influential party to the JCPOA can play a positive role in regional and international developments.

Defending the JCPOA and preserving the international deal has always been taken into consideration by France particularly since US President Donald Trump came to power. Paris has time and again voiced its opposition to Washington’s policy against the JCPOA.

France, as one of the signatories to the JCPOA has taken some steps towards entering Iranian markets and it is expected to expand its economic ties with Tehran while at the same time convincing Western countries to have a balanced and logical approach to their commitments under the JCPOA.

The annual trade exchanges between Iran and France jumped to 3.8 billion euro in 2017 from 500 million euro in pre-JCPOA era.

The French foreign minister’s visit to Tehran can reflect the policy of France as a European and Western power willing to have balanced and logical relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the one hand and on the other the logic of bilateral ties requires Paris to view regional developments in a more realistic manner while remaining committed to the JCPOA.

France’s request for talks with Iran on regional issues has been made at a time when that country has not shown necessary reaction to other developments and crises in the region such as the situation of Yemeni people in the wake of attacks by Saudi-led coalition on that impoverished country. Moreover, the pressure being exerted by the Zionist regime on the Palestinian people and non-compliance of the regime with international conventions are among other points which require a more severe stance on the part of the French government.

Paris should admit that Iran has been a victim of aggression by the former Baathist regime of Iraq for years and therefore Tehran allows no country to interfere with its defense issues. Instead, Paris should try to make the US remain committed to the nuclear deal to which France is a signatory. The US has so far breached some parts of the pact and continuation of this trend would cast uncertainty over the future of JCPOA.