The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - July 3, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Libya – Strikes against a migrant detention center (July 3, 2019)

◢  Iran

◢  Saudi Arabia

Libya – Strikes against a migrant detention center (July 3, 2019)

France condemns the strikes targeted, for the second time since the start of the offensive in Tripoli, against the migrant detention center in Tajoura, which, this time, killed more than 40 migrants and injured more than a hundred others. We want to remind all Libyan parties and institutions that they have a duty to protect civilian populations and infrastructure, in accordance with international humanitarian law. In this regard, they also have a responsibility to ensure safe and unrestricted humanitarian access.

Following this tragedy, France again calls on the parties to immediately de-escalate the situation and to end the fighting. At the same time, it calls for the swift resumption of the political process under UN auspices. To that end, it supports the efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé.


President Rouhani announced this morning that Iran would enrich its uranium to more than 3.67% from July 7 if the remaining parties to the 2015 agreement did not keep their word. What is your response to this threat?

Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed his opinion yesterday together with his German and British counterparts and the EU high representative. Please refer to their joint communiqué. Iran has nothing to gain by withdrawing from the agreement reached in Vienna. Calling the agreement into question would only serve to fuel already heightened tensions in the region. That's why France, together with its European partners, strongly urged Iran to immediately reverse its decision to exceed the stockpile limit and to refrain from any further measures that would undermine its nuclear obligations.

In the communiqué issued by the Élysée yesterday that you are referring us to, there's no mention of the INSTEX mechanism. Can you confirm that the first INSTEX transactions will be made before the end of July or is this announcement largely symbolic in order to appease Iran?

France, together with its European partners, will, for its part, spare no effort to ensure that Iran can continue to reap the economic benefits of the agreement reached in Vienna (JCPOA).

The INSTEX barter mechanism was created to facilitate the financial transactions of legitimate business operations between Europe and Iran, on the basis of Iran's full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.

This mechanism is now operational and the first transactions have started to be processed; cooperation with Iran's mirror-image mechanism must be maintained in order to sustain trade flows.

Responsibility for preserving the economic benefits of the agreement does not lie with the Europeans alone; the other signatories to the agreement and the entire international community also have a responsibility to do so, in accordance with the implementation of UNSCR 2231.

Saudi Arabia

A British court suspended licenses to export arms to Saudi Arabia, citing the possibility that the weapons could be used in the conflict in Yemen. Could such a decision call into question France's arms sale policy?

France does not comment on British court decisions.

France, for its part, remains very vigilant on this issue. We study each equipment sale on a case-by-case basis.

As the minister has said repeatedly, France's arms sales, and specifically those to Saudi Arabia, are in compliance with our international commitments, in particular the Arms Trade Treaty and the 2008 EU Common Position.

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