EghtesadOnline: Paris should revise its approach if it wants to win the trust of the Iranian nation, says a political expert, who believes that recent provocations by French officials are only intensifying the prevailing tensions.
"There's deep mistrust among Iranians toward France so it would be better if French authorities end their anti-Iran rhetoric because it only worsens the situation," Mohammad Hossein Kebriya wrote in a recent article published by the Iranian Diplomacy website.
France's defense minister recently criticized the US over what she described as "unanswered" attacks in recent months threatening the Persian Gulf. The US blames Iran for the attacks, something Tehran denies, according to Financial Tribune.
Florence Parly separately said France deplored both US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that led to the reimposition of sweeping sanctions, as well as Tehran for recently surpassing the deal's enrichment, stockpile and centrifuge limits, AP reported.
Iran's decision to reduce its compliance with the agreement was in response to US sanctions and Europe's failure to fulfill its obligations.
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also suggested in recent comments that Paris is seriously considering triggering a mechanism within the Iran nuclear deal that could lead to UN sanctions, given Tehran's steps toward scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Iran rejected the comments as "irresponsible" and "non-constructive".
Need for Honesty
Kebriya said many issues will be resolved if France and the two other European signatories to the deal—Britain and Germany—fulfill their pledges.
"It is time for the Europeans, especially the French, to act honestly and help lift the burden on the Iranian people," he said.
The expert noted that such comments are being made amid the French government's efforts to present itself as a mediator to defuse tensions between Iran and the United States, and keep the nuclear accord alive.
Britain, France and Germany have sought to salvage the pact, under which Iran undertook to curtail its uranium enrichment program in return for relief from sanctions against its economy.
But the three European powers have failed to make good on the trade and investment dividends promised to Iran under the deal, as they have been unable to shield Tehran from renewed US sanctions that have strangled its vital oil trade.
Kebriya also wrote that France's acts of obstruction before the signing of the nuclear agreement, its current rhetoric and its overall track record over the past years show that "it is even more hostile toward Iran than the United States".
Hence, European countries, including the French administration, need to revisit and revise their approach toward the Iranian nation if they wish to improve the situation, the article added.