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Iran rules out talks with West over its presence in region
March 09, 2018
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Tehran: Iran will not negotiate with the West over its presence in the Middle East, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, days after the visiting French foreign minister sought to discuss Tehran’s role in regional conflicts.

Jean-Yves Le Drian travelled to Tehran on Monday with a brief to reaffirm Europe’s support for a nuclear deal that opened Iran’s economy while echoing US concern about Tehran’s missile programme and its influence in the region.

“European countries come (to Tehran) and say we want to negotiate with Iran over its presence in the region. It is none of your business. It is our region. Why are you here?” Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.

Khamenei said Iran would only negotiate on that issue with other states in the region.

“We will negotiate with America, when we wanted to be present in America,” he added.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the nuclear deal unless three European signatories help “fix” the accord by forcing Iran to limit its sway in the Middle East and rein in its missile programme.

French President Emmanuel Macron has criticised the programme and raised the possibility of new sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran’s military might posed no threat to any country in the region.

“Our weapons are meant to promote peace, strengthen stability and security and to prevent others from invading our country. No one should be concerned about Iran’s weapons and missiles,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by the state media.


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