Macron calls for agreement on Iran's regional role

PARIS (dpa)- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called for a "framework agreement" on Iran's role in Middle Eastern conflicts to complement the 2015 deal on its nuclear programme.
Iran's involvement in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen "destabilizes the region, or at any rate plays a role in maintaining severe tensions," Macron said in a New Year's address to diplomats in Paris.

"We need to have an extremely clear and transparent debate to limit the outside domination that is exerted in certain countries," Macron said, adding that in some cases Iran was not the only outside power in question.
Macron has previously called for limits on Iran's missile programme to complement the nuclear agreement, which US President Donald Trump controversially wants to renegotiate.
Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states fear that Iran is seeking to dominate the region, pointing to its backing for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its alleged support for the Houthi rebels who control much of Yemen.
On Wednesday, Macron had warned French journalists that the anti-Iranian stances of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel were "practically a discourse that will lead us to war in Iran," newspaper Le Figaro reported.
Macron also touched on the recent demonstrations in Iran, saying that they showed change could only come from within.
"This crisis is the free expression of the Iranian people, and it shows ... that we were right to think that change could not come from the outside in the case of Iran," he argued.

Friday, January 5th 2018

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