Europe should push the United States to adhere to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement, said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday in a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in the capital Tehran.
Iranian officials told Le Drian that Tehran would continue its ballistic program despite heavy pressure from Western countries.
While French leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron, have criticized Iran's missile program, French companies like oil giant Total SA, carmaker Renault and airplane manufacturer Airbus have bullishly entered the Iranian market after the atomic accord, complicating any possible sanctions.
The French minister's visit to Tehran comes against a backdrop of criticism of Paris for its push to hold talks on Iran's missile program.
Iran has said it "will not accept any amendments in (the nuclear) agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to (it)".
He said that the primary condition for possible worldwide negotiations on Iran's missiles is the destruction of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that the USA and European nations have.
"Iran has learned to rely on its deterrent power", Zarif said. "If not tackled head-on, this country risks new sanctions".
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France has urged Washington to see the nuclear deal separately from Iran's regional activities and its missile program, and Le Drian will stress Macron's commitment to the nuclear accord, especially as Iran is respecting its terms, French officials said. "Having such tools is not uniquely defensive, given the distance they can reach".
On February 13, French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran's ballistic missile program must be placed under worldwide surveillance.
The visit was originally scheduled for January but postponed due to a week of violent protests in Iran.
"We're not going to be Donald Trump's envoys or Iran's defense lawyers", said a French diplomatic source."We have our own concerns and will talk to the different sensibilities of the Iranian system to get our point across".
Under the agreement, Iran was to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, reduce its low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and eliminate the number of its gas centrifuges by two-thirds for the next 13 years.
The Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.
The hardline Javan newspaper welcomed Le Drian with the headline: "Trump's Parisian lackey in Tehran".