France says U.S. Iran strategy reinforces conservatives, endangers region

By REUTERS
May 23, 2018 11:21
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PARIS - The US decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and implement a tough strategy on the country will strengthen Tehran's hardliners and endanger the region as a whole, France's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Jean-Yves Le Drian was speaking two days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would impose "the strongest sanctions in history" if Iran did not curb its regional influence and limit its ballistic missile program.

"We disagree with the method because this collection of sanctions, which will be set up against Iran, will not enable dialog and on the contrary it will reinforce the conservatives and weaken President (Hassan) Rouhani. This posture risks endangering the region more," Le Drian told France Inter radio.

He said Paris shared Washington's concerns over Iran's ballistic missile "frenzy" and regional hegemonic ambitions, but that the 2015 nuclear deal was the best chance of stopping Tehran developing a nuclear bomb.



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