France: No deal yet on when to lift Iran’s sanctions

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrives to join the nuclear talks with Iran, in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Associated Press)

France’s foreign minister warned Friday that the tricky issue of when crippling sanctions on Iran would be lifted following a framework deal over its nuclear program was “not yet solved.”

“The Iranian want sanctions to be lifted immediately,” Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio station.

“We say to them: we will ease the sanctions as you respect what you have agreed to and if you don’t live up to your commitments, of course we can return to the situation we had before.

“On this point, there is not yet a deal,” said Fabius.

Fabius spoke after Thursday’s agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear drive, hailed as “historic.”

Under the framework, Iran agreed to sharply curtail its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.

France, which presents itself as one of the more hawkish of the world powers negotiating the deal, has warned that sanctions will be re-imposed if Tehran fails to live up to its side of the bargain.

“We are going in the right direction ... but we are not yet at the end of the road,” stressed Fabius.

The main outlines agreed after eight days of talks that sometimes went through the night in the Swiss city of Lausanne now have to be finalized in a highly complex agreement by June 30.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday welcomed the deal, but said he hoped Tehran would go further by the deadline for a final deal at the end of June.

“When we look at the positions (of the) P5+1 right now, Iran is still below the line we were able to bring in (previous negotiations) in 2010, but we hope Iran will come to that line,” Cavusoglu said during a trip to Lithuania.

On Friday, Israel re-iterated its warning that a deal with Iran was “very dangerous,” accusing Tehran of seeking an atomic weapon.

“This framework (agreement) is a step in a very, very dangerous direction,” government spokesman Mark Regev told journalists, adding that Iran’s “single goal” behind the accord was to build a nuclear bomb.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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