Iran foreign minister criticises EU 'extremism' towards Tehran

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"No country can decide for us or others".

The senior Iranian officials insisted in their meetings with Le Drian on Iran's long-held policy that Tehran's missile program is defensive.

The senior Iranian commander's remarks came on the same day that Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on worldwide affairs, also said the Islamic Republic's defense program is no concern of other countries.

He added that Le Drian should adopt a less critical approach towards Iran if France hopes to strengthen relations between the two countries. "If not tackled head on, this country risks new sanctions".

"The condition for negotiating Iran's missiles is the destruction of the nuclear weapons and long-range missiles of the United States and Europe", Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Masoud Jazayeri said on Saturday, as cited by state media.

Le Drian arrived in Iran on March 5 and met with President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.

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The daily addressed French policy toward Tehran, saying that it aims to establish Paris as "a balancing point in the region and decrease Iran's role in the Middle East and Iran's missile program".

Javan emphasized, "The Europeans have been affected by the psychological maneuvering of [Donald] Trump to pressure the Islamic Republic to hold talks for a complementary JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and this issue led Shamkhani to tell the French foreign minister explicitly that 'Europe's policy of giving concessions to the United States to keep it within the JCPOA is incorrect and means passivity and surrendering to the psychological games of Trump'".

Since the lifting of the sanctions in January 2016, French automakers have piled into Iran's resurgent market, helping turn around a period of slipping sales, which occurred when they left the country in 2012.

Macron also wants an accord to limit Iran's regional meddling, including their warfare on behalf of the Bashar Assad in Syria, where many Iranian proxy groups are fighting.

It's unclear how much of an effect Le Drian's talks will have in Iran, especially as newspapers greeted him Monday with headlines calling him an "impudent guest" and "Trump's Parisian servant". This complicates France's ability to advocate for sanctions on Iran, but it is important for France to remember that the majority of the Iranian economy is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a paramilitary force that answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and so any additional investments are likely funding terrorism and human rights violations.

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