French president says he has no ‘plan B’ for Iran nuclear deal

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By Middle East Affairs

French President Emmanuel Macron said he has no “plan B” for the Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reported, and that it’s in the United States best interest to stay in the agreement.

Macron was speaking Sunday during a Fox News interview as a preview to his three-day visit in Washington. The French president plans to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the international nuclear agreement with Iran.

The deal – signed in 2015 among the United States, Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – is in danger of falling apart if the European signatories don’t meet demands set by Trump to fix what he called “terrible flaws” in the agreement. The signatories have a May 12 deadline, when Trump is set to extend the United States waivers on Iran sanctions.

“I don’t have any plan B,” Macron said. “Let’s present this framework because it’s better than the sort of North Korean-type situation.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday in a CBS interview that if the United States pulls out of the deal it would become a risky partner to have in the international community. He also said that without the United States’ participation, the deal would be useless to Iran.

“This would be a very bad precedent if the United States sends this message to the international community that the length or the duration of any agreement would depend on the duration of the presidency,” Zarif said.

Trump and Macron will also discuss the recent joint air strike in Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians. Trump wants U.S. troops to exit Syria as soon as possible, but Macron has claimed to convince the U.S. president to keep them there until the situation is more stabilized.

The French president also said that the United States, France and other allies would have a “very important” role to play in rebuilding and stabilizing Syria after the Islamic State is defeated.

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