French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran and Israel yesterday (3 January) to maintain a mutual dialogue, warning that the tone of comments adopted by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia toward the Iranian regime was virtually a path to war. “The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is almost one that would lead us to war,” President Macron said.
He further commented that this was a deliberate strategy for some countries but France is seeking to maintain some balance. “Otherwise, we end up surreptitiously rebuilding an ‘axis of evil’,” he said, referring to the term once used by former US President George W. Bush to describe countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea. President Macron also said that he would only visit Tehran if calm and respect for freedoms are restored.
EU head of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, commented that the EU was closely following the ongoing demonstrations in the country including the unacceptable loss of human lives and the increase of violence. For the EU, human rights have always been the key component of the relations with Iran and peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression are fundamental rights that apply to every country, the Commission holds.
The EU authorities have been in touch with their Iranian counterparts in the spirit of openness and respect but the European expectations are such that all concerned will refrain from violence and the right of expression will be guaranteed. Ensuring and supporting the full implementation of the nuclear deal in order to further improve and deepen bilateral cooperation remains at the core of the EU-Iran relations.