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Iran slams France for selling weapons to Gulf Arab states

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during a press conference in Tehran, on February 22, 2021. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during a press conference in Tehran, on February 22, 2021. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Iran accuses France of “destabilizing” the Gulf region after Paris signs a record 14 billion euro deal with the United Arab Emirates for 80 Rafale fighter jets.

“We must not ignore France’s role in destabilizing the region,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tells a news conference. “We expected France to be more responsible.”

“The militarization of our region is unacceptable and the weapons they sell in the region are the source of turmoil,” he adds.

France clinched the order for 80 Rafale fighter aircraft during a visit Friday by President Emmanuel Macron to the UAE. During the visit, Abu Dhabi also inked a deal to buy 12 Caracal military transport helicopters, for a total bill of more than 17 billion euros (more than $19 billion).

Khatibzadeh also complains that “billions of dollars worth of weapons are being sold to Arab countries” without sparking global concern while Iran’s missile program is condemned by world powers.

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