|Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives French President Emmanuel Macron in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 9, 2017. AFP/Handout via Saudi Royal Palace/Bandar Al-Jaloud|
'Strong concerns about Iran'In Yemen, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi movement said on Monday it had closed all air, land, and sea ports to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran.
The United Nations said the move risked causing “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.
Macron said he would insist to Prince Mohammed that Riyadh must open the borders to allow humanitarian access.
On Iran, Macron repeated that he wanted to keep the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, which US President Donald Trump has challenged.
But he said he was “very concerned” by Iran’s ballistic missile program, mentioning a missile fired from Yemen and intercepted by Saudi Arabia on Saturday, and raised the prospect of possible sanctions with regard to those activities.
“There are extremely strong concerns about Iran. There are negotiations we need to start on Iran’s ballistic missiles,” he said.
“Like what was done in 2015 for the nuclear activities, it’s necessary to put a framework in place for Iran’s ballistic activities and open a process, with sanctions if needed, of negotiation that would enable (that).”
Iran has denied providing ballistic missiles to Yemeni Houthi rebels and says its missile program is purely defensive and should not be linked to the nuclear deal.
Macron reaffirmed his intention to go to Iran as part of efforts to talk to all the actors in the region but warned about decisions that could destabilize the region further.
“Iran is a regional power… there should be no naivety in terms of Iran, it is about standing beside our allies, in particular, the United Arab Emirates, but it is about not having any policy that could create imbalances, conflicts in the region.”