French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, warning of consequences for Theran if it continues its atomic project.
After a dinner meeting in the Elysee Palace with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, Macron called for “firmness in the face of Iran’s headlong rush, which if continued would inevitably have consequences.”
The French president also noted “that Iranian support for Russian aggression in Ukraine exposes Iran to sanctions and increasing isolation,” while Netanyahu said Israel is considering sending military aid to Ukraine, which seems Israel plans to drop its more neutral stance over the conflict in the hope of securing a more anti-Iran Western position towards Tehran.
While Macron met Netanyahu in Paris, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna flew to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. France is a major arms supplier to both countries, with Riyadh becoming the biggest purchaser of French weapons in 2020.
Macron also mediated a regional summit in Jordan in December about the future of Iraq.
France is an important power in the eastern Mediterranean, where it maintains a significant naval and aerial presence and enjoys an historic role in Lebanon.
Before the Israeli premier took off for Paris earlier Thursday for his first meeting with Macron since he returned to power late last year, Netanyahu said the focus of his conversations with Macron would be “our joint efforts to stop Iran’s aggression and its drive toward a nuclear weapon.”
France agrees that "firmness" is needed in dealings with Iran, a diplomatic source told AFP, calling its nuclear program "dangerous" and highlighting its role in the Ukraine war.