On a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will further reduce its commitments under the JCPOA if Europe does not abide by its obligations under the deal. Rouhani described Paris’s efforts to save JCPOA as serious and said that the media and public opinion attached great importance to Foreign Minister Zarif’s recent unexpected visit to France’s Biarritz during G7 summit.

Insisting that Iran’s approach is to maintain the JCPOA, the Iranian president stressed “fulfilling the commitments by all parties and guaranteeing the security of free shipping in all waterways, including the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, are two of Iran’s major goals in the ongoing negotiations.”

He criticized Europeans for not taking any practical steps to live up to their commitments after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. The Iranian president said the full lifting of all anti-Iran sanctions would lay the ground for future negotiations, stressing that if Europe fails to fulfill its commitments, Iran will implement the third phase of reductions in its commitments to the nuclear deal.

He, at the same time, stressed that the third step will be reversible like the two previous steps. Rouhani also described the JCPOA agreement as unalterable, stressing that all parties must be committed to its content. Elsewhere, the Iranian president touched upon the issue of Yemen and emphasized a political solution to the crisis with the aim of reaching sustainable peace based on justice in the war-torn country.

He also warned against the regime of Israel’s warmongering policies in the region, urging France, as a permanent UNSC member, to try to act in accordance with UN resolutions and support the UN Charter. The French president, for his part, said that the Iranian and French experts had achieved good results in resolving the problems ahead and that a meeting would be held this week between the French and Iranian economic experts in Paris.

Macron added the decision to continue talks and solving the problems through negotiations is a proper decision. He warned that the failure of the JCPOA will embolden many hard-liners in the international arena, adding that “we must look for a solution to secure our mutual interests, and in this regard, France will pursue solving political and economic problems on the way of dealing with Iran and resolve tensions.”

The French president also called for expansion of Iranian-French cooperation to resolve regional issues and problems, including the Yemen crisis.

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