Iran: there is still "political space" for continuing de-escalation efforts
Sanctions against Iran – Reply by Mme Sibeth Ndiaye, Minister of State attached to the Prime Minister, Government Spokesperson, to a question in the National Assembly (excerpt)
Paris, 8 October 2019
Regarding Iran, the country you asked the [Foreign] Minister about, I’d like to remind you first of all of the twofold aim agreed by the G7 heads of state in Biarritz in August: to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, because this would exacerbate the instability of a region in the grip of serious tensions, but also to prevent the escalation we’re currently witnessing from leading to an armed conflict.
Following the United Nations General Assembly, where the Iran issue was the subject of numerous discussions, the Minister noted that there is currently still a political space for continuing the efforts begun at the G7 summit in Biarritz in support of de-escalation. But let’s not blind ourselves to the fact that this space is obviously constrained by the announcements the Iranians made in September of a new reduction in their obligations under the Vienna agreement, but also by the attacks carried out against Saudi Arabia on 14 September. France wanted to establish who was responsible, and that’s what it did on 23 September in New York, together with the United Kingdom and Germany, on the basis of independent analysis by its experts.
We believe that there are no other possible explanations and that Iran does indeed bear responsibility for the attack.
But the Minister has noted that all the parties – the United States as much as Iran – are interested in building a foundation for work on the basis of a number of parameters which the French President echoed at the UN General Assembly: Iran must not be able to acquire nuclear weapons; a settlement of the Yemen crisis is necessary; a regional security plan must be built; finally, the economic sanctions against Iran must be lifted. Now that these parameters have been set out, the space exists and we must grasp it now./.