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Iran Says Nuclear Deal 'Not Negotiable' Following Macron Visit To Region


French President Emmanuel Macron poses for selfies with students at Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi on November 9.

Iran's Foreign Ministry says the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers is "not negotiable" after French President Emmanuel Macron said during a trip to the region that it was important to "remain firm" with Tehran over its missile program.

"We have told French leaders on several occasions that the Iran nuclear deal is not negotiable and that no other issues can be included in the text" of the agreement, the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying on November 11.

France is "fully aware of our country's intangible position concerning the issue of Iran's defensive affairs, which are not negotiable," he added.

During a visit to the Persian Gulf, Macron blamed Iran for a ballistic-missile launch by Yemeni rebels targeting Saudi Arabia last weekend.

He said it illustrated the need for negotiations with Tehran over its missile development. He added, though, that France was committed to the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, which puts restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

"The missile that was intercepted by Saudi Arabia launched from Yemen, which obviously is an Iranian missile, shows precisely the strength of their" weapons program, Macron said on November 9.

"Like what was done in 2015 for the nuclear activities, it's necessary to put a framework in place for Iran's ballistic activities and open a process, with sanctions if needed, of negotiation that would enable [an agreement]," he added.

France has been trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear that Iran signed with Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia, and the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal, refusing to recertify that Iran is complying with its obligations and violating the "spirit" of the accord.

Trump and his administration have accused Iran of using the ballistic-missile program to further development of its nuclear weapons.

U.S. officials also accuse Tehran of supporting extremists and terrorists in the region.

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

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, AFP, Mehr, and Samaa TV
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