French president says it is important to maintain dialogue with Iran, warning tone of comments adopted by United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia toward Tehran is virtually a path to war.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said it was important to maintain dialogue with Iran, warning that the tone of comments adopted by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia toward Tehran was virtually a path to war.“The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is almost one that would lead us to war,” Macron told reporters.
The line being taken was “a deliberate strategy for some,” he said.
France, he said, wanted to maintain some balance.
“Otherwise, we end up surreptitiously rebuilding an ‘axis of evil’,” he said, referring to a comment by former US President George W. Bush, who once used that term to describe countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
Macron also said he would only visit Iran if there was a return to calm and respect for freedoms.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Iranian anti-government protesters on Monday, while denying as “laughable” Tehran’s apparent accusations that Israel was behind the demonstrations.
“I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom,” Netanyahu said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“Brave Iranians are pouring into the streets. They seek freedom. They seek justice. They seek the basic liberties that have been denied them for decades. Iran’s cruel regime wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate,” he said in remarks that echoed similar praise from US President Donald Trump.