Macron admits defeat over Iran deal
Macron, after three days of diplomacy with Trump, he said he could not be sure what Washington would do on May 12, the next deadline for the US to re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement. However, Macron said he believed Trump would axe it to satisfy domestic political concerns to shore up his support base.
Tomorrow (Friday), German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Trump to add her support to Macron’s arguments to Trump on Iran, steel and aluminium tariffs and Syria.
Trump and Merkel have a difficult relationship and she is not expected to get the warm welcome extended to Macron.
On Tuesday, Trump called the deal “the worst deal ever, it’s a nightmare, it was a catastrophe, and so on and so on”.
On Wednesday, Macron said he planned to call Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to discuss the issue. Macron said that Tehran had rejected the idea of a new deal, saying the US and France had no right to renegotiate the terms.
“You don’t have any background in politics,” Rouhani said of Trump in a televised address. “You don’t have any background in law. You don’t have any background on international treaties.”
He added: “Together with a leader of a European country they say: ‘We want to decide on an agreement reached by seven parties.’ What for? With what right?”
Macron said he told Trump that killing the agreement “would open Pandora’s box,” The 40-year-old leader said: “I don’t think your president wants to make war with Iran.”
The agreement offered Iran billions in sanctions relief in exchange for agreeing to halt the nuclear programme.
Macron added that Trump’s Iran strategy was probably influenced by that towards North Korea.
“His experience with North Korea is that when you are very tough, you make the other side move and you can try to go to a good deal or a better deal,” Macron told the Washington media. “That’s a strategy of increasing tension … It could be useful.”
Macron has been followed to the US by Israel’s hardline defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who hoped to shore up Trump’s resolve to withdraw from the Iran agreement.
Esfahan in Iran. Picture credit: Wikimedia