Iran's Zarif calls on European Union to play constructive role on nuclear deal

UN Nuclear Watchdog: Iran-Accord Failure Would Be 'Great Loss'

An Iranian nuclear energy official on Monday warned that his country is able to create highly enriched uranium in "less than 48 hours", should the United States drop out of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

"And above all to put pressure on the United States to meet its commitments under the deal and not to allow it to present illogical and illegal demands", Zarif added, according to an account by the foreign ministry.

The U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to scuttle the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal unless amendments are made to it.

A senior Iranian security official said on Monday that the missile programme of the Islamic republic is "not a threat" to any country.

Hardline Iranian media reacted angrily to Le Drian's visit with headlines like "The Rude Guest" and "Weapons of mass seduction".

"There are programs for missiles that can travel several thousand kilometers, which are not compatible with UN Security Council resolutions and which exceed the needs of defending Iran's borders", Le Drian told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Le Drian also pressed Iran on the activities of its ally, the Syrian government, amid the ongoing bombardment of civilians in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

Iran's missiles can now hit any point in the Middle East, including Israel and USA military bases, as well as parts of Europe.

More news: Germany: Social Democrats approve coalition deal

President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 agreement, and previous year refused to confirm to Congress that it is in America's national security interest.

Iran has refused any re-negotiation or additional clauses, arguing that the USA has already failed to keep up its end of the bargain on the existing accord.

That continued with Iran's armed forces spokesman, Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, who this weekend said over the weekend that Tehran would only give up its missiles when the West abandons nuclear arms.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring Iran's compliance with its obligation, has verified Iran's compliance with the deal in 10 reports.

However, Zarif noted that the nuclear deal, internationally known as JCPOA, is a multilateral agreement and its fate can not be subjected to the whims of Washington.

If the political track looks tricky, France is hoping its cultural diplomacy can offer a more positive flavour to the trip. Fars news agency said a group of hardliners gathered at Tehran's International Mehrabad Airport and in front of Iran's Foreign Ministry to protest at Le Drian's visit.

Zarif said that Europe should not be affected by the U.S.

Despite their differences, Iran has welcomed French efforts to re-engage economically and politically.

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