Macron urges Tehran to 'pressure' Syria to halt Eastern Ghouta offensive

French President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2018
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Macron urges Tehran to 'pressure' Syria to halt Eastern Ghouta offensive

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to put pressure on the Syrian government to end attacks against Syria's besieged eastern Ghouta region and allow humanitarian aid to flow.
In a phone conversation on the eve of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's trip to Tehran, the two presidents agreed to work together in the coming days with the United Nations, Damascus and other countries who are involved to improve the situation for civilians and make a ceasefire effective.
France also expects Iran to make a "constructive contribution" to solving crises in the Middle East, the presidency statement said.
Violence has escalated in eastern Ghouta, despite a U.N. ceasefire call a week ago and the bombing of the besieged Syrian enclave represents a "simply unacceptable" punishment of civilians, the United Nations said on Sunday.
Le Drian also said that Iran needed to address concerns over its ballistic missile programme or risk new sanctions.
Iran said France's concern over its ballistic missile programme was "wrong", the semi-official Fars News agency said. 


Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

Updated 10 December 2018
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Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

  • The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities
  • Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles

GENEVA: Iran has the ability to build ballistic missiles with a broader range, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Monday, according to the semi-official Fars News agency.
Iran’s missiles currently cover a range of 2000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and many “enemy bases” are within 800 kilometers of the Islamic Republic, Amirali Hajjizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was cited as saying.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
“We have the ability to build missiles with a broader range,” Hajjizadeh said, according to Fars News. He added, “We don’t have limitations from a technical perspective or by conventions with regard to missile range.”
The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly its missile program run by the Guards.
Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.
In October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at Daesh militants in Syria after the extremist group took responsibility for an attack at a military parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of the Guards.