France wants to revive EU role in JCPOA talks, MP says

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TEHRAN — An Iranian deputy believes that France is trying to relaunch the process of nuclear negotiations.

In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi said the phone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi shows that Paris is playing the role of two people in the nuclear negotiations.

“Paris does not like the role of the Americans in these negotiations taking precedence over Europe and is trying to revive the role and position of Europe in these negotiations. This is the general policy of the French,” said Jahanabadi, who sits on the Majlis’ National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

Affirming that France has adopted a new policy in the region, he said that the Elysee Palace is trying in some way to fill the void left by the United States in West Asia and to strengthen relations with the countries of the Mediterranean, Western Asia and the Persian Gulf.

This is part of France’s policy, the legislator stressed.

Jahanabadi said France wanted to play its role more clearly than other European countries in nuclear talks, saying efforts had been made by the French government to strengthen cooperation.

“A detailed conversation between the presidents of Iran and France took place, and Iran’s point of view was transmitted to this country and they also transmitted to us the point of view of the Americans,” explained the deputy.

The legislator went on to say that now that Tehran’s policy and interest is not to speak directly with the Americans, the French can play this role to get the messages across and play a mediating role.

“Iran wants to resolve the issue of nuclear negotiations. Therefore, we welcome any country that wishes to mediate in this regard,” Jahanabadi stressed.

The representative of the people of Torbat-e-Jam in parliament went on to say that despite the sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic is not in a weak position.

“Without a doubt, Iran’s infrastructure and economy have suffered (from the sanctions), but the Western side is also wrong. The Western side that signed the JCPOA and then withdrew from it has not achieved anything since the withdrawal,” the lawmaker said.

Former US President Donald Trump resigned from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran in history, in line with his “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

The lawmaker said it was the West that suffered from the violation of the legally binding agreement.

“Has Iran stopped increasing the number of centrifuges? the MP asked, adding that Iran’s enrichment has not been reduced, and on the contrary, Iran’s influence in West Asia has increased and Iranian drone power has also been improved.

He went on to say that the positions of Iran and the United States in West Asia are incomparable.

“When the JCPOA was signed, the Americans were present in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now they have left the region. This shows that the West is in a weak position,” he said.

Referring to US President Joe Biden’s tour of West Asia, he said the US President’s attempt to revive Saudi Arabia’s position in the energy market had failed and it showed that West Asia was no longer the West Asia of the past and that the American perception of Iran is incorrect.

The lawmaker also warned that if Westerners believe that Iran will accept any type of commitment and sign any agreement because of economic problems, it will show that their understanding of Iran is completely wrong.

The Iranian people, he added, will never give in to the demands of global arrogance.

Referring to France’s propensity to mediate in Iranian-American nuclear talks, the MP said: “Iran prefers Qatar, Oman and Iraq for mediation because we have deeper ties with these countries and a better understanding of common problems in our region. Of course, any country that wants to make an effort and mediate will be welcomed by Iran.

Iran and the United States have not spoken directly since negotiations began in April 2021 to resuscitate the JCPOA. European Union Political Director Enrique Mora acted as coordinator of the talks.

He went on to say that West Asia was once under American control, but the recent summit held in Jeddah showed that American allies also believe in not being fooled by the Americans.

“During Biden’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, he was treated coldly. The countries of the region have understood that regional problems must be solved by the countries themselves and that there is no hope for the Americans,” he concluded.

President Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia July 13-16. During his trip, he failed to convince the Arab states to team up with Israel against Iran.

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