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Iran urges Europe to normalize economic relations with it and has consequences

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) — Iran said on Sunday Europe was not in a position to criticize Tehran over its military capabilities and called on European leaders to normalize trade ties with the Islamic Republic despite US sanctions or face the consequences.

US President Donald Trump announced last year the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions.

Trump denounced the nuclear deal signed by world powers, including his predecessor, Barack Obama, with Iran in 2015 as flawed because it is not permanent and does not include Iran’s ballistic missile program or Tehran’s role in Middle Eastern conflicts.

The European countries signatories to the agreement, France, Britain and Germany, share the United States concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program and its activities in the region.

But it defended the nuclear deal, saying it was the best way to curb uranium enrichment, a possible way to acquire nuclear weapons, as well as a basis for future negotiations that address a wider range of security and other outstanding disputes.

“The Europeans are not in a position to criticize Iran for matters outside the joint comprehensive action plan,” the Iranian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying, referring to the nuclear deal.

“The Europeans and other signatories to the comprehensive joint action plan should normalize economic relations with Iran … we will stop our commitments or move in accordance with its procedures,” he said.

Iran suspended some of its commitments under the nuclear deal last month and warned it would resume uranium enrichment beyond the 60-day limit if the Europeans did not protect it from US sanctions.

German Foreign Minister Haikou Mas will visit Iran this week and will discuss options for maintaining the NPT.

Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani criticized French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday over comments he made last week during a meeting with Trump when he said his goals were the same as the United States’ targets for Iran.

McCron said France wanted to make sure Iran did not have nuclear weapons. “We had an agreement until 2025 and we want to strengthen this and we have full confidence in the long term … by reducing ballistic activity and containing Iran regionally,” Macron said.

“The recent statements made by the French president at a meeting with Trump were shameful and inappropriate,” Larijani was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

“Macron’s remarks are not in line with what he says to our president, Mr. Hassan Rouhani, in their meetings and on the phone.”

Iran insists its nuclear activities are purely peaceful and has repeatedly refused to discuss its missile program.

Iran on Sunday unveiled a new “homemade” air defense system with the ability to track six targets, including fighter jets, bombers and marines, at the same time and destroy them with rockets.

“Iran will strengthen its military capabilities to protect its national security and interests and will not ask for permission from anyone,” Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said at the unveiling ceremony.


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