(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
LONDON - Iran on Sunday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his tough stance toward Tehran and said Paris would soon lose its international credibility if it "blindly follows" US President Donald Trump.
Tensions between Iran and France have risen in recent months after Macron said Tehran should be less aggressive in the Middle East, citing in particular its involvement in Syria's civil war.
Macron, unlike Trump, has reaffirmed his country's commitment to the deal Iran signed in 2015 with world powers under which it curbed its disputed nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions.
However, he has been critical of Iran's ballistic missile tests and wants to raise the possibility of new sanctions over the program, which Tehran calls solely defensive in nature.
"To sustain its international credibility, France should not blindly follow the Americans ... The French president is now acting as Trump's lapdog," Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Velayati also criticized US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who last week presented pieces of what she said were parts of an Iranian missile supplied to the Tehran-aligned Houthi militia in Yemen. She described the objects as conclusive evidence that Tehran was violating U.N. resolutions.
"This claim shows she lacks basic scientific knowledge and decency. She is like her boss (Trump) as he also says baseless, ridiculous things. Iran has not supplied Yemen with any missile," Velayati said.