Arab League To Meet On Iran at Saudi Request

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he is welcomed by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan and Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum upon Macron's arrival with his

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he is welcomed by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan and Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum upon Macron's arrival with his

His comments came after French President Emmanuel Macron urged firmness with Iran regarding its missile program and influence in the Middle East, in an interview with the United Arab Emirates-based al-Ittihad newspaper.

"Like what was done in 2015 for the nuclear activities, it's necessary to put a framework in place for Iran's ballistic activities and open a process, with sanctions if needed, of negotiation that would enable [that]", he said in a press conference in Dubai, the UAE, on Thursday.

"France' officials including its president are well aware that levelling false accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran stands in stark contradiction to the realities of the Middle East over the past decades", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

Later in the day, Macron made a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia, where he said he was "very concerned" about Iran's ballistic missile program, adding, "There are negotiations we need to start on Iran's ballistic missiles".

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, and it has accused the Iran-backed rebels of firing the missile.

Macron also said there was no immediate alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal-long lambasted by US President Donald Trump-which curbs Iran's nuclear programme.

Col. Aziz Rashed, a spokesman for rebel-allied forces, said Sunday that the missile intercepted by the Saudis near the capital Riyadh on November 4 was "Yemeni-produced". Following Trump's move, President Hassan Rouhani stated that Iran "will produce any weapons of any kind that we need and stockpile it and use it at any time to defend ourselves", which in his eyes does not violate any worldwide agreements.

The deal between Tehran and six world powers including France, Russia, the US, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom involves the removal of sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

On 13 October, Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call that France remained committed to the deal.

The diplomat stressed that the country's missile program is designed for its defense and has no relation to a nuclear agreement with the world powers.

USA officials also accuse Tehran of supporting extremists and terrorists in the region.

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