PARIS, The nuclear accord signed with Iran in 2015 is essential in preserving international security and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons, French Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the French Parliament, the minister said that as long as Iran is keeping its obligations, the signatories of the Vienna Accord four years ago should respect their commitments.
"It is a priority for the security of France, the European Union and the entire world," he cautioned.
The US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Tehran last year but France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China vow they will stick with the accord as long as Iran does.
But threats from Tehran to scale back parts of its obligations, particularly on the sale and the production of enriched uranium, have brought criticism from France.
"Iran announced a partial application of the accord and we think this is a bad reaction to a bad American decision," the minister commented to deputies.
"More than ever, it is necessary to keep the channel of dialogue open to permit a resolution of the crisis," he stressed.
"As long as the accord is respected, the European will do their part of the work regarding the economic aspects, in order to preserve a certain number of economic benefits (for Iran)," Lemoyne indicated, noting the creation of the INSTEX trading mechanism that is ready for use when Iran has set up "a mirror" system.
But beyond the nuclear accord, the minister said France has "a certain number of concerns" it has raised with Tehran, specifically the ongoing testing and development of potential dual-use ballistic missiles and the destabilisation effect certain Iranian operations are having in the region.
These concerns were raised a number of times at high level in the Iranian administration as recently as 10 days ago with senior Foreign Affairs officials.
Earlier, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian expressed concern about rising tensions in the region between the US and Iran, but he said he did not believe there would be a conflict between those powers, but he warned about the potential of a mistake, given the increased military capacity in the area.
Le Drian told "France Inter Radio" that the US initiative to withdraw from the nuclear accord was "extremely dangerous" while Iran is respecting the agreement.
The Foreign Minister warned about the increase in hostile actions in the region, including attacks on Saudi oil facilities and sabotage of tankers in the UAE.
"Iran must ask the question of itself on the fact that, certainly, it respects its agreements, but they are engaged in a destabilisation process in the region; they are developing missile sales, transferring missiles to terrorist groups," Le Drian affirmed.
"That is not acceptable. We have to talk about this," he added.
Source: Kuwait News Agency