France’s Macron hails Iran commitment to talks amid nuclear standoff

Press TV – French President Emmanuel Macron has praised Iran’s commitment to talks on how to resolve a standoff over its nuclear program.

In a phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, Macron said a trip earlier this week by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to France, which coincided with a summit of G7 group of industrial nations in the country, showed that Iran was still committed to the principle of diplomacy on its nuclear dossier despite sanctions imposed by the US.

The comments came after Iran said it would be ready for renewed talks on an international nuclear deal which has suffered since the United States withdrew from the agreement in May last year.

However, Iran said after the G7 meeting in France, where US President Donald Trump was also present, that talks would only be possible if the US lifted all of its sanctions on Iran.

Macron, who has sought to mediate between Iran and the US, told Rouhani on Saturday that France would continue its efforts for de-escalation on Iran case, saying that would lead to solutions to regional conflicts, including a war in Yemen.

During the conversation, Rouhani reiterated Iran’s position on the 2015 nuclear agreement signed between his country and world powers, known as the JCPOA, saying Tehran would continue to scale back its commitments under the deal to force other parties to observe their own obligations.

Iran has already reduced its commitments under the JCPOA in two occasions, demanding other parties to the deal to expedite efforts that could enable Iran to benefit from the economic advantages of the agreement.

Rouhani repeated previous statements suggesting that the European parties to the JCPOA, namely France, Britain and Germany, have done little in line with their promises to save the deal from the impacts of the US sanctions.

“If Europe fails to execute its obligations, Iran would take its third step in reducing JCPOA commitments,” Rouhani told Macron, adding that such a move would be reversible like the previous two steps by which Iran both increased its stockpile of enriched uranium and also removed a cap on its enrichment program.