Speaking before a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, French president Emmanuel Macron reiterated that Paris wants to work on a new nuclear deal with Iran, which as we discussed earlier prompted confusion and anger among his European allies, and that France is not going to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was signed in 2015 by president Obama and remains his landmark foreign policy achievement.
“France will not leave the JCPOA because we’ve signed it,” Macron said. “We can work on a more comprehensive deal.”
WATCH: Macron discusses his position for a “more comprehensive” Iran deal. “Whatever the decision of the United States will be, we will not leave the floor to the absence of law” #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/CyJIwfkysI
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) April 25, 2018
Macron’s vow followed statement from the US State Department and EU foreign police chief Federica Mogherini, who reiterated their commitment to the agreement. On Tuesday, Macron prompted a drop in the price of oil, when during a joint presser with Donald Trump he urged the US president not to “tear apart” the current deal, instead advising to build on it to develop a broader deal. He noted that Paris wanted to work on a new nuclear deal with Iran that would include international players like Russia and Turkey.
Macron has pushed for a new approach that would see the United States and Europe agree to block any Iranian nuclear activity until 2025 and beyond, address Iran’s ballistic missile program and generate conditions for a political solution to contain Iran in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
As a reminder, oil has surged in recent weeks over concerns that should Trump tear up the Iran Nuclear deal, that as much as 1 million barrels of Iranian exports would be eliminated from the market as a result of trade sanctions. It is also the reason why Europe – which has found a cheap source of oil in Tehran – has been fighting hard to preserve the deal.
Trump, who has consistently criticized the 2015 deal and called the accord, which stipulates the gradual lifting of anti-Tehran sanctions in exchange for Iran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, the “worst deal ever”, last October, Trump refused to re-certify the nuclear deal, accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement.
“Whatever the decision of the United States will be, we will not leave the floor to the actions of rogues. We will not leave the floor to this conflict of powers in the Middle East,” Macron told Congress. “I think we can work together to build this comprehensive deal for the whole region, for our people, because I think it fairly addresses our concerns.”
In remarks on Tuesday, Trump said that “nobody knows what I’m going to do on Iran deal” until the deadline on May 12. Not even he.
Separately, Macron also urged the IS to reject narrow nationalism and engage the world, telling U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that modern economic and security challenges must be a shared responsibility.
During the same Congressional address, Macron said that isolationism and nationalism were “a tempting remedy for our fears.” But he said international engagement was the only solution. “This requires — more than ever — the United States’ involvement as your role was decisive for creating and guarding today’s free world. The United States is the one who invented this multilateralism. You are the one now who has to help preserve and reinvent it,” he said.
Trump has yet to respond.