French President Emmanuel Macron offered support Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s view that a new Iranian nuclear agreement is necessary.
France is among the seven signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in addition to the United States, Great Britain, Germany, China and Russia — a deal signed before either Trump or Macron took office.
In exchange for relief from economic sanctions, Iran agreed to significantly curtail its nuclear program over a 10-year period.
During a joint news conference Tuesday at the White House, Macron acknowledged that he and Trump had differing views regarding the efficacy of the agreement, with the French president arguing the U.S. should remain a party.
“It’s not a mystery, we did not have the same starting positions,” Macron said. “I can say that we’ve had very frank discussion on that, just the two of us. You consider that the Iranian deal, the JCPOA, the one negotiated in 2015 with Iran is a bad deal.
“For a number of months I’ve been saying that this was not a sufficient deal but that it enabled us at least until 2025 to have some control over their nuclear activities. We, therefore, wish to work on a new deal with Iran.”
The French president identified multiple topics that need to be addressed in that regard.
They include blocking any nuclear development from Iran until 2025, for which the JCPOA laid the groundwork, but the French president believes there is a need to go beyond the terms of the agreement to find a longer term solution.
Another vital issue, according to Macron, would be to put an end to Iran’s ballistic missile testing. A final objective would be to thwart Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region through its intervention in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Macron emphasized he believes a new agreement can be had, which includes not just the JCPOA nations, but countries in the Middle East, as well.
Earlier in the day, Trump described the Iran deal as “insane” and “ridiculous.”
Reporter: Are you willing to consider staying in the Iran deal?@POTUS: We’re going to be talking about it. We will see. People know my views. It was a terrible deal. It shouldn't have been made. We could have made a good deal or reasonable deal. The Iran deal is a terrible deal. pic.twitter.com/Ng1vZSCZJ2
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 24, 2018
“We’re going to be talking about it,” the president said in the Oval Office. “We will see. People know my views. It was a terrible deal. It shouldn’t have been made. We could have made a good deal or reasonable deal. The Iran deal is a terrible deal.”
Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether he will re-certify that Iran is in compliance with the agreement.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States would face “grave” consequences if the United States withdraws from the JCPOA.
“If someone wants to betray our nation and the deal, grave consequences will affect them,” Rouhani said during a speech broadcast on State TV.
During Tuesday’s joint news conference with Macron, Trump said, “There is a chance, and nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th, although Mr. President (Macron), you have a pretty good idea, but we’ll see.”
“But we’ll see also if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with solid foundations, because this is a deal with decayed foundations,’ he added.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.