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Macron urges Trump not to ditch Iran deal

April 22, 2018

Ahead of a state visit to Washington, French President Emmanuel Macron has said US President Donald Trump should not abandon the Iran nuclear deal and that there is no "Plan B." He also addressed the issue of tariffs.

Emmanuel Macron
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/L. Marin

Macron on Sunday said he would stress the importance of abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear accord with Iran, as long as there was no better alternative.

"I don't have any Plan B," Macron said in an English-language interview with US network Fox News. "Let's present this framework because it's better than the sort of North Korean type of situation."

Trump is due to decide next month on whether perceived flaws in the 2015 agreement have been addressed. Meanwhile, talks on the issue are set to take place between the US and European countries involved in the deal. The US wants tougher controls on Iran's missile program and the prospect that it might return to enrichment of uranium in the future.

Read more: What are Donald Trump's objections to the Iran nuclear deal?

The French president made his comments ahead of a three-day state visit to Washington, adding that the Iran situation did give rise to some concerns.

The EU and the Iran deal

"I'm not satisfied with the situation with Iran, said Macron."I want to fight against ballistic missiles. I want to contain their influence in the region. My point is to say don't leave now the JCPOA as long as you have not a better option for nuclear, and let's complete it with ballistic missile and regional containment."

Last week, about 500 lawmakers wrote to Trump urging him not to abandon the Iran deal.

Countries based on same values

Macron said he enjoyed a "very strong personal relationship" with Trump, adding that he wished to develop this on the state visit. "My objective is to highlight a long-term history between our two countries based on values; we are very much attached to the same values and especially liberty and peace." 

Read more: Is Emmanuel Macron Europe's new Angela Merkel?

In the interview, Macron also argued against punishing new steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump has threatened to impose starting on May 1.

"You don't make trade war with your allies," said Macron.

US and European trade officials have been engaged in a series of talks to resolve the dispute over metal tariffs, but it remains unclear if any progress has been made.

rc/ng (AFP, Reuters)