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France Says Iran's Nuclear Actions Negative But Dialogue Still Possible


French President Emmanuel Macron and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2ndL) during a meeting in the city hall of Biarritz, August 25, 2019

A day after Iran announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement, France has attempted to keep the door open for further dialogue with Tehran.

Iran's decision to further reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear is reversible and France will continue to pursue dialogue to bring it back into full compliance, France's foreign minister said on Sunday.

"The actions they have taken are negative but not definitive. They can come back and the path of dialogue is still open," Jean-Yves le Drian told Europe 1.

On Saturday, September 7 the Islamic Republic announced the deployment of new and more powerful uranium enrichment centrifuges that can greatly increase the production of fissile material in the coming months. If a large number of the new centrifuges are put into operation, it would violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA or Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

Le Drian said Iran was still several months away from a nuclear bomb.

President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Obama-era deal in May 2018, arguing that it was a bad agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran.

Tehran has been pressuring Europe for assistance in trade as its economy is in crisis partly due to U.S. sanctions. It has threatened to completely pull out of the JCPOA if Europe does not take meaningful steps.

French President Emmanuel Macron has offered Iran $15 billion in credits in a bid to find a way for direct talks between Washington and Tehran but so far no common ground has been found.

Reporting by Reuters, AFP

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