EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani held a phone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday, in which the two sides stressed the need to continue diplomatic engagement to find solutions to salvage the fraying 2015 nuclear deal and reduce tensions in the region.
"Enhancing cooperation between Iran and Europe can create a calm and reassuring atmosphere for the region and world; and France, as one of Iran's traditional partners in the European Union, can play a constructive role in this regard," Rouhani was quoted as saying by his website.
France is leading a European initiative to save the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has faced a risk of breakdown ever since the United States unilaterally pulled out last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
After the European signatories failed to ensure economic benefits promised under the JCPOA even after the passage of one year, Iran implemented a reciprocal plan to gradually scale back its nuclear commitments, Financial Tribune reported.
Over the past months, the French president has had several phone talks with Rouhani as well as US President Donald Trump.
He has sent his diplomatic advisor to Tehran twice and received Rouhani's representative in Paris for talks on the Iran-US standoff.
Rouhani described the negotiations as positive and a "step forward", but lamented Washington's provocative moves.
"Unfortunately, while efforts are underway by Iran and France to reduce tensions and pave the way for lasting coexistence in the region, the US is taking provocative measures," he said.
Trump has recently placed sanctions on the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as well as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
"We place great importance on security and free navigation in the region and the Strait of Hormuz. Every day, tens of ships freely transit and Iranian forces carry out their monitoring duties based on regulations," Rouhani said.
He stressed that Iran's purpose of reducing JCPOA compliance was to preserve the country's benefits under the deal and ensure the implementation of commitments by all sides, which will help strengthen this important agreement.
The remaining signatories have pledged to shield Iran against US sanctions but their efforts have not addressed Iran's main concerns, including its oil export and banking relations.
The president called for the faster implementation of plans to restore Iran's banking and oil relations with other countries, which are the nation's basic economic rights under JCPOA.
Macron said, "Achieving an outcome that is accepted by both sides and guarantees Iran's interests in JCPOA is of high importance for Paris."
He also welcomed Rouhani's proposal to launch consultations between Iranian and French authorities and experts to discuss solutions to various regional and international issues as well as ways to expand Tehran-Paris relations.