France calls on Iran to show ‘political maturity’ - GulfToday

France calls on Iran to show ‘political maturity’

Jean-Yves-Le-Drian

Jean-Yves Le Drian. File

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has described Tehran’s threat to resume nuclear work − in what would be a contravention of its commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal − as a “bad reaction,” calling on Tehran to show “political maturity.” “Iran has had a bad reaction, faced with a bad US decision to withdraw from the Vienna agreements and impose sanctions,” Le Drian said in an interview published online by Le Parisien, referring to the 2015 deal signed in Vienna.

“It is a pity that the United States is not honouring its commitments, Iran must show its political maturity,” Le Drian added.

Le Drian also warned against a “bellicose spiral,” stressing the “responsibility” of the Americans and the importance of dialogue with Tehran.

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

Parting with the silence, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that, in the Gulf, “things are heating up.” “If there’s some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States, between Iran and its neighbours, I’m not ruling out that they will activate Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel,” Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Israel’s Ynet TV.

The Israeli military declined to comment when asked if it was making any preparations for possible threats linked to the Iran-US standoff.

The United States’ military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now it is an opportunity, a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

“An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now the threats have switched to opportunities,” Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards’ aerospace division said.

He added, “If (the Americans) make a move we will hit them in the head.” The commander of the Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said in a parliament session on Sunday that the United States has started a psychological war in the region, according to a parliamentary spokesman.

“Commander Salami, with attention to the situation in the region, presented an analysis that the Americans have started a psychological war because the comings and goings of their military is a normal matter,” said Behrouz Nemati in a summary of the Salami’s comments, according to parliament’s ICANA news site.

Salami was appointed head of the Guards last month.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, who heads the influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, told the official IRNA news agency that Iran isn’t looking to deepen the crisis. He said the US position will weaken with time, and that there are currently no grounds for negotiations with Washington.

Separately, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on Sunday that US national security adviser John Bolton had made plans for the United States to withdraw from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and take a more aggressive posture toward the Islamic Republic even before he took up his current post.

Zarif tweeted a link to a 2017 National Review article written by Bolton with the headline “How to Get Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal.” “A detailed blueprint for #FakeIntelligence, #ForeverWar and even empty offers for talks-only phone numbers were not included,” Zarif wrote in the tweet.

On Sunday, Iran’s parliament held a closed session to discuss recent developments in the Gulf, state TV reported.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had threatened a “swift and decisive” US response to any attack by Iran.

“Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve,” he said, adding however: “We do not seek war.” Meanwhile, Iranian authorities shut down a reformist magazine that had urged negotiations with the United States, local media reported Sunday.

The weekly magazine Seda was handed a suspension order Saturday by a court in Tehran, the reformist newspaper Arman reported.

Seda’s most recent front page had shown a US aircraft carrier fleet and the caption “At the crossroads between war and peace.”

Agencies