The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - January 16, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Iran – Third anniversary of the implementation of the JCPOA (January 16, 2019)

◢  Iran – Iranian rocket launch on January 15, 2019

◢  Kenya – Nairobi attack (January 15, 2019)

◢  Egypt

◢  Italy

◢  Côte d'Ivoire

◢  Syria

Iran – Third anniversary of the implementation of the JCPOA (January 16, 2019)

January 16, 2019, marks the third anniversary of the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA). On this occasion, France reaffirms its full support for the JCPOA. The agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council through resolution 2231, is a key element of the non-proliferation regime and an important factor in terms of international and regional security.

As confirmed by the IAEA in its most recent report on November 12, 2018, the JCPOA is fully achieving its goals by guaranteeing that the Iranian nuclear program remains peaceful. France will continue to support the agreement as long as Iran fully complies with its all of its nuclear obligations.

France underscores the importance of the lifting of sanctions as provided for in the agreement as well as its determination to protect the freedom of the economic operators involved in legitimate trade with Iran, in accordance with UNSCR 2231 and European legislation. To that end, France welcomes the adoption by the EU of an updated "Blocking Statute" and reaffirms its active involvement in the E3 and in collaboration with the EU in order to establish a special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating transactions and ensuring that the Iranian people benefit from trade.

While making the preservation of the JCPOA the basis of its approach, France reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive approach as proposed by the E3 (Germany, France and the UK) involving the long-term supervision of the Iranian nuclear program and the limitation of its ballistic missile program and its destabilizing regional activities.

Iran – Iranian rocket launch on January 15, 2019

Iran has claimed to have conducted a satellite launch. France strongly condemns this launch which is not in compliance with UNSCR 2231.

Indeed, UNSCR 2231 calls on Iran to refrain from conducting activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches. Space launch vehicles use technology that is very similar to that used for ballistic missiles, in particular for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

This launch follows the firing of short-range ballistic missiles into Syria on September 30 and the firing of a medium-range ballistic missile on December 1. These missile launches were also not in compliance with UNSCR 2231.

The Iranian ballistic missile program is a source of concern for the international community and France. We call on Iran to refrain from conducting any further launches of ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including space launch vehicles, and urge Iran to comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Kenya – Nairobi attack (January 15, 2019)

France strongly condemns yesterday's attack in Nairobi, for which the al-Qaeda-backed al-Shabab terrorist group claimed responsibility and which took the lives of some 15 people, according to preliminary estimates. France expresses its sorrow and its solidarity with the victims, their families, and the Kenyan people at this painful time.

France reaffirms its strong determination to stand with its African partners in the fight against every form of terrorism throughout the entire continent.


You awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law to Mohamed Lotfy, head of an NGO that denounces forced disappearances. His request for a presidential pardon for his wife, Amal Fathy (sentenced to two years in prison for speaking out about her experience of sexual harassment), has gone nowhere. Given the strategic partnership between France and Egypt, did you support the request made to the Egyptian authorities by this human rights activist?

We are closely monitoring Amal Fathy's situation and along with certain partners, particularly European ones, have intervened with the Egyptian authorities on her case. We are in close contact with her husband, Mohamed Lotfy.

We are raising the issue of human rights directly and candidly with the Egyptian authorities. It is in this context that we intervene in a certain number of individual cases. We are committed to achieving results.

France is working actively to combat violence against women in the world and supported the first UN resolution on combating sexual harassment in 2018.


What is your response to statements by Italian authorities calling on France to send back to Rome Italian radicals who have allegedly been hiding in France for decades?

We refer you to the Justice Ministry.

Côte d'Ivoire

What is your reaction to the acquittal of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo and the former Young Patriots leader Charles Blé Goudé of all war crimes charges?

We take note of the ICC's decision to acquit Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d'Ivoire, and Blé Goudé.


What do you think of the possible establishment of a safe area/buffer zone in northern Syria?

Our priority is to achieve a complete and definitive victory against Daesh. We are committed to maintaining stability in northeastern Syria, supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ensuring that the rights of local populations are respected.

We are in contact with all of our international and regional coalition partners to study the best way to achieve each of these goals.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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