Trump and Macron suggest new Iran nuclear deal

After the two Presidents met in the US, they suggested that they might agree on a new agreement on Iran's nuclear programme 

The French and the American Presidents during a joint Press conference at the White House (Photo: The Guardian)
The French and the American Presidents during a joint Press conference at the White House (Photo: The Guardian)

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have offered the idea of a new agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme.

After talks in the US, Trump spoke about “doing a much bigger, maybe deal,” while Macron said the new pact must cover Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its role in the Middle east. 

The offer seemed calculated to appease the US president’s discontent with the current agreement, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA) by proposing a broader initiative to tackle other elements of Iran’s challenge in the region, particularly its ballistic missile programme, and its military role in Syria.

“I always said we should not tear apart the JCPOA and have nothing else,” Macron said. “This would not be a good solution.” But it was unclear if Trump had agreed.

Trump said that he and Macron may reach an agreement soon on the nuclear Iran deal.

"I think we really had some substantive talks on Iran and we're looking forward to doing something [...] I think we're fairly close to understanding each other."

In 2015, Iran agreed to mothball its nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions on Iran. The US president has been threatening to reject an extension of the Obama-era nuclear pact reached between Tehran and world powers by a 12 May deadline.

Macron is on the first state visit during Trump’s presidency. The two presidents have gone out of their way to stress their personal chemistry, planting a tree on the White House south lawn, holding a dinner at George Washington’s house at Mount Vernon and hugging, hand-holding and cheek-kissing at the White House on Tuesday.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit the US on Friday to make a last-minute bid to dissuade Trump from potentially torpedoing the agreement.

On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened "severe consequences" if the US withdrew from the deal. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif: "You cannot stop the process or not engage just because of a fear of failure"

Iran maintains its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful civilian purposes.

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