Our Defence Affairs Are Not Negotiable: Iran FM to Macron

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Iran has rejected a call by French President Emmanuel Macron for talks on Tehran's ballistic missiles.

"We have repeatedly made clear to France's authorities that the JCPOA is non-negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it. France is also well aware of our country's strong stance that Iran's defense affairs are not negotiable", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Saturday, IRNA reported. "There are negotiations we need to start on Iran's ballistic missiles", he said.

"The very tough positions expressed by Saudi Arabia regarding Iran do not conform to what I think [about Tehran]", Le Monde on Friday quoted Macron as having said during a press conference in Dubai on Thursday.

The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a U.N. resolution that calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Tehran says it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles and the missile programme is for defence purposes.

Saudi Arabia heaped on additional the accusations, stating that Iran supplied weapons to the Houthi rebels.

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"We maintain that France should responsibly convince its regional allies in the Persian Gulf region to adopt sensible policies and approaches far from excitement", he added.

"We expect France not to be swayed by inculcation and false signals sent by certain countries in the Persian Gulf region against the Islamic Republic of Iran", the Iranian spokesperson said.

As many astute pundits have pointed out, it's now "blame Iran time" according to the official Saudi (and allies) narrative of events in order to set the stage for public support for potential military action against Iran.

He called on the French government to adopt "tangible strategies" and compel its allies in the region to put an immediate end to war and bloodshed in Yemen with the objective of establishing peace and stability in the impoverished country.

In a statement, the Saudi-led coalition claimed the Houthis were under Iran's "direct command".

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