Last Update 19:23
Saturday, 24 August 2019

France sees risk of stumble into US - Iranian conflict

Reuters , Sunday 14 Jul 2019
Le Drian
File Photo: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a working session during the Foreign ministers of G7 nations meeting in Dinard, France, April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1114
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1114

Iran's breaching of caps on its uranium enrichment after the United States pulled out of world powers' nuclear deal with Tehran was "a bad reaction to ... (a) bad decision", raising fears of a stumble into war, France's foreign minister said.

Tensions have risen as Washington has blamed Iran for several attacks on oil tankers and Tehran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, prompting President Donald Trump to order air strikes that he called off only minutes before impact.

Trump withdrew the United States last year from the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to curb its nuclear programme, to the dismay of co-signatories France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

Washington has since tightened sanctions to block Iran's oil exports and other benefits accruing from the deal. Tehran has responded by enriching uranium beyond set limits and threatening to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment well above the level deemed normal for electricity generation.

"The situation is serious. The rise of tensions could lead to accidents," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters when asked about the risk of a wider Middle East war.

"The fact Iran has decided to pull back from some of its engagements on nuclear proliferation is an additional worry. It is a bad decision, a bad reaction to another bad decision, that of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal a year ago," he said, arriving for Paris's annual Bastille Day military parade.

The European powers do not support Trump's sanctions squeeze on Iran, aimed at forcing it into negotiations on stricter nuclear limits and other security concessions, but have been unable to come up with ways to allow Iran to avert them.

"No one wants a war. I've noticed that everyone is saying they don't want to go to the summit of the escalation. Neither (Iranian) President Rouhani, nor President Trump or other Gulf leaders. But here there are elements of escalation that are worrisome," Le Drian said.

"Iran gains nothing from withdrawing from its engagement (with nuclear deal). The U.S. also gains nothing if Iran gets nuclear weapons, so it is important that de-escalation measures are taken to ease the tensions."

In Baghdad on Saturday, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini backed Iraq's proposal for a conference between Iran and its regional rivals, U.S.-allied Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.