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France, Germany Want Iran To Reverse Regional 'Hegemonic Temptations'


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (file photo)

The French foreign minister has said France and Germany agree that Iran must "roll back" its ballistic-missile program and its "hegemonic temptations" across the Middle East.

Jean-Yves Le Drian made the comments in Paris on December 4 at a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel.

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that Tehran will "definitely not negotiate on defense and missile issues," according to state media.

Le Drian and Gabriel told reporters that Paris and Berlin would continue to defend the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

"We agree that we need rigorous implementation and a full respect of commitments taken by all the parties" to the deal, the French minister said.

Le Drian insisted that the accord "guarantees that the Iranian nuclear program will not be diverted to serve military purposes."

Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia, and the United States -- signed the deal providing Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activities.

But U.S. President Donald Trump refused to certify that Iran was complying with its obligations under the accord, though international inspectors say it is.

Trump also threatened to pull out of the deal, accusing Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement, in part for its continued testing of ballistic missiles and its support for extremists in the Middle East.

The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on individuals and entities over Tehran's missile program and other "destabilizing actions."

Iran denies the U.S. allegations and says its missiles are needed for self-defense and that its nuclear program has purely peaceful aims.

With reporting by Reuters
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