French minister in Iran, voices concerns on missile programme

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"We have already adopted appropriate measures in banking relations and the French companies' investment in Iran has grown enormously following the nuclear deal", he said, adding that export guarantees and lines of credit are among the main signs of the investments made so far", he noted.

Ahead of his visit, Le Drian said Iran should address "concerns" over its ballistic missile program or risk new sanctions.

"The Europe should completely fulfill its commitments under the deal and at the same time put pressure on the United States to remain committed to it".

In a Monday meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, the French foreign minister once again expressed his country's decision to respect, preserve and implement the JCPOA.

Iran claims that it will continue its programs despite the pressure from the U.S. and other Western countries.

On May 12, Donald Trump is expected to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions under a United States law.

Shamkhani also told Le Drian that Iran's defense capabilities pose no threat against any country.

Amano said the accord "represents a significant gain for verification" and that if it "were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism".

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On Saturday, Brigadier General Jazayeri had said that the Islamic Republic's prerequisite for talks on its missile program is for the U.S. and certain European states to destroy their long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

Last year's $5 billion gas exploration deal with French energy giant Total was the biggest in Iran since the nuclear accord, and showed French firms were willing to stand up to pressure from Washington. While Iran has accepted curbs on its nuclear work - which it says is for purely peaceful purposes - it has repeatedly refused to discuss its missile programme, something the United States and European countries have called for.

Earlier, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted an Iranian armed forces spokesman as saying: "Iran's missile programme will continue non-stop and foreign powers have no right to intervene on this issue".

On February 13, French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran's ballistic missile program must be placed under worldwide surveillance.

According to Rouhani's website, the president countered by Le Drian's comments by telling Macron that countries selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies must answer for the "war crimes" that are being committed in Yemen's civil war.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday voiced his support for the 2015 nuclear deal which limited Iran's nuclear activities in returns for the lift of western sanctions against Tehran.

Weapons programs and Syria aside, Paris and Tehran have growing economic interests, and Le Drian is likely to engage Iranian officials in business discussions.