Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

(File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

  • The French were responding to Iran saying they are working on advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment
  • Meanwhile, another French academic was detained in Iran

PARIS: France demanded on Wednesday that Iran refrain from entering a new phase of “especially worrying” reductions to Iran’s obligations to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
“Iran must abstain from crossing an especially worrying new phase of new measures that could contribute to an escalation in tensions,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing.
She was responding after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran was working on advanced IR-9 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Those centrifuges do not appear in the 2015 accord.

Meanwhile, France’s government denounced Roland Marchal’s unexplained detention as “unacceptable,” and colleagues called Wednesday for his release.
Marchal, a sub-Saharan Africa specialist at Paris university Sciences Po, was arrested in June when he traveled to Iran to visit his romantic partner, Fariba Adelkhah, according to Sciences Po professor Richard Banegas, who has worked closely with him.
It's unclear what charges Marchal faces, but Banegas told The Associated Press that he and colleagues consider him “an academic prisoner.”


China calls expulsion of diplomats from US a ‘mistake’

Updated 5 min 28 sec ago

China calls expulsion of diplomats from US a ‘mistake’

BEIJING: China on Monday called the expulsion of diplomats from the US a “mistake,” following reports that Washington quietly expelled two embassy officials in September after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia.
The incident is the latest spat between the world’s two biggest economies and comes days after they announced a truce in the form of a mini-deal to reduce some tariffs in a bruising trade war which has weighed on both sides.
Commenting on The New York Times report, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called the accusations “completely contrary to the facts” and said they “strongly urge the United States to correct its mistake.”
Geng said Beijing had lodged “solemn representations and protests to the US” and called for Washington to “protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese diplomats.”
The incident appeared to be the first time in more than 30 years that the US has expelled Chinese diplomats on suspicion of espionage, the newspaper said Sunday, citing people familiar with the episode.
At least one of the diplomats was believed to be an intelligence officer operating under cover, the Times said.