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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

US and France agree on Iran regime's failure to serve people

Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the EU will invite his Iranian counterpart for discussions on the anti-government protests

French President Emmanuel Macron described US President Donald Trump as “not a classical politician”. Ian Langsdon / Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron described US President Donald Trump as “not a classical politician”. Ian Langsdon / Reuters

US president Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron discussed the anti-government protests in Iran, while the EU said it will invite Iran’s foreign minister to talk about the demonstrations.

The White House said on Sunday that Mr Trump and Mr Macron discussed a number of issues, including developments on the Korean Peninsula and the unrest in Iran.

“The presidents also agreed that the widespread demonstrations in Iran were a sign of the Iranian regime’s failure to serve its people’s needs by instead diverting the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism and militancy abroad,” the White House said in a statement.

Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that the EU will invite his Iranian counterpart for discussions on the Iranian protests, in which at least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested since their eruption on December 28.

"Together with the EU's foreign policy chief [Federica Mogherini], we agreed to invite the Iranian foreign minister, if possible next week," he told German public broadcaster ZDF, without giving further details.

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The demonstrations in Iran started over economic hardships but quickly turned against the government, with attacks on government buildings and police stations.

"We very quickly affirmed that we support the freedom to demonstrate and that the state should support this," Mr Gabriel said.

However, Mr Gabriel said Berlin will not follow the lead of Mr Trump, who pledged to help Iranians "take back" their government.

Mr Trump also seized on the recent unrest to again slam a multiparty nuclear deal with Iran as deeply flawed.

Germany, as well as France, has "warned against attempts at instrumentalising the domestic conflicts in Iran," said Mr Gabriel.

The US on Friday took the Iran protests to the UN Security Council, where deep divisions emerged over the issue, with Russia arguing the demonstrations posed no threat to international peace and security.