French FM Due in Tehran Sunday Night
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will start an official visit to Iran on Sunday to hold talks with senior officials of the country on various bilateral, regional and international issues, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.
The French top diplomat is slated to arrive in Tehran on Sunday night at the head of a high-ranking delegation, Qassemi said on Sunday.
In his trip to the Islamic Republic, Le Drian plans to attend meetings with a number of senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, according to the spokesman.
In the talks, the two sides are slated to discuss a range of issues, including ways to boost the relations between Tehran and Paris as well as the most important developments in the Middle East and other parts of the world, Qassemi said.
Back in January, Le Drian said he would discuss the latest developments about the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in his trip to the Iranian capital.
The French minister added that he would also raise the issue of Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as what he called Iran’s “destabilizing military influence in the Middle East” during his meetings in Tehran.
“If Iran wants to return to the concert of nations, it must cooperate on these questions,” said Le Drian.
“Otherwise, it will with reason always be suspected of wanting to develop nuclear weapons,” he claimed.
Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country’s missile program is purely defensive, stressing that it is not up to France or any other country to make decisions about Iran’s defense issues.
In December, Tehran advised Paris to be careful in its views about the Islamic Republic after French President Emmanuel Macron called for talks on Iran’s ballistic missiles.