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Middle East

Iran tells France nuclear deal 'not negotiable'

media French president Emmanuel Macron greets Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on 18 September, 2017, in New York. Ludovic Marin/AFP

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said Iran's nuclear deal is "not negotiable" in response to remarks by French president Emmanuel Macron.

Emmanuel Macron called for vigilance towards Tehran over its ballistic missile programme and regional activities, in an interview published on Wednesday by the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad.

"We have told French leaders on several occasions that the Iran nuclear deal is not negotiable and that no other issues can be included in the text", state news agency IRNA quoted Ghassemi as saying of the 2015 agreement.

France, Ghassemi said, is "fully aware of our country's intangible position concerning the issue of Iran's defensive affairs which are not negotiable".

In the interview with Al-Ittihad, published during Macron's 24-hour visit to Abu Dhabi, the French president said: "It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and its ballistic programme."

Macron also said there was no immediate alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal -- long lambasted by US President Donald Trump -- which curbs Iran's nuclear programme.

Salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal

France has been trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear that Iran signed with six world powers -- Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the United States.

On 13 October, Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call that France remained committed to the deal.

But the French leader stressed it was also necessary to have a dialogue with Iran on other strategic issues, including Tehran's ballistic missile programme and regional security, a proposal ruled out by Iran.

Macron's visit this week to Abu Dhabi came amid renewed tensions between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran's nuclear deal saw sanctions imposed on Tehran lifted in exchange for limits on its atomic programme.

- with AFP

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