January 27, The Iran Project – Iran strongly slammed French foreign minister’s threatening remarks quoted by Reuters on Friday (Jan. 25) over its defensive missiles, vowing to reconsider cooperation with Europe in case of such new sanctions.
Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed that France is ready to impose further sanctions against Iran if no progress is made in talks over its ballistic missile program. This is while Iran has repeatedly dismissed the possibility of negotiations over its defensive missile program.
Diplomats previously told Reuters that new sanctions being considered by EU countries over the missile issue could include asset freezes and travel bans on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRCG) and people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
It should be noted that it is not the first time that France made such allegations over Iran’s missile program.
In response to the French minister comments, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “Iran’s military capabilities are part of the country’s legitimate defense power and a guarantor of the Islamic Republic’s national security, which is based on the doctrine of deterrence,” adding that the country’s missile capability is not negotiable, and this has been brought to the attention of the French side during the ongoing political dialogue between Iran and France.
He further stressed that Le Drian’s threat to impose new missile sanctions is against the spirit of political talks and cooperation between the two countries while vowing that the Islamic Republic will reconsider its interaction with European countries in case these states impose any new sanctions against Tehran.
Le Drian’s threats came two days after he said on Wednesday that the EU-promised payment system, known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), for facilitating non-dollar trade with Iran under US sanctions should be established in the coming days.
Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal correspondent announced in a tweet the possibility of registering a special EU financial channel to continue trade with Iran under the US sanctions on Monday (Jan. 28).
Accordingly, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) had previously been reported to be registered in France and be headed by Germany’s representative.
In an interview with ICANA, Ahmad Reza Beigi, a member of Iranian Parliament’s Internal Affairs Commission reiterated that if the European Union has had good faith in its tie with Iran, it could simply establish at least one bank to keep its financial ties with the Islamic Republic.
The Iranian legislator noted that if the EU’s special mechanism was launched, the trade volume between Iran and the European Union could hit $6 billion, but “the Europeans are not ready to introduce, establish or allocate a bank to their trade ties with Iran, and prefer to launch only a special channel.”
He went on to say that it is wrong to think that there is a conflict in the interests of the US and the EU and added the Islamic Republic should sit for trade talks with the states threatened by the fluctuation of the US dollar.
“We should finally establish a joint Asian currency in the continent and pave the way for trade exchanges between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other Asian states like Turkey, Pakistan, India, Russia, and Turkey,” he stated.