French President Emmanuel Macron said he thinks US President Donald Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, dealing a blow to the agreement reached in 2015 and endorsed by world powers.
"I believe he will get rid of this deal for domestic reasons,” Mr Macron told journalists on Wednesday in Washington, adding that he encouraged the US president to stay in the accord during his three-day visit to Washington.
Mr Macron went on to say that a US withdrawal, which isn’t backed by any of the other five countries who are part of the agreement, would lead to a period of increased tensions and uncertainty over Iranian and US reactions.
The comments come a day after Mr Macron and Mr Trump hosted a news conference in which the French president proposed a new agreement which would try to address many of Mr Trump’s concerns about the six-party accord, which he has called “insane” and the “worst deal ever.”
Keeping the US in the agreement reached during the Obama administration has been a priority issue for Mr Macron and European leaders ahead of a May 12 deadline for Mr Trump to continue to waive US sanctions that were lifted as part of the deal.
FAQ | Iran nuclear talks
Mr Trump seemed at least somewhat interested in Mr Macron’s blueprint, calling it a “new deal” with “solid foundations.”
Click Here: United Kingdom Rugby Jerseys
Teams of American negotiators have been working with European allies for weeks on a new accord along the lines of what Mr Macron laid out.
Like the French president, their biggest challenge is the absence of any guarantee that Mr Trump will accept the result.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Macron spoke up for the Iran deal in an address to Congress.
"It is true to say that this agreement may not help all concerns, and very important concerns," he told the lawmakers. "But we should not abandon it without having something substantial and more substantial instead."
"That’s my position," he said. "That’s why France will not leave the JCPOA, because we signed it."