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Putin, Macron, Agree On Need To Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal



Vladimir Putin

Russian President, Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, agreed in a phone conversation on the need to preserve and fully implement the Iran nuclear deal, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.

The phone call took place at the initiative of the French administration, the Kremlin statement said.

According to the Kremlin, Macron told Putin about the results of his visit to the U.S., putting an emphasis on his negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme.

“The presidents of Russia and France expressed their support to preservation and implementation of the plan.

Other current issues of international and bilateral agendas were also discussed,” the statement read.

NAN reports that on April 24, macron while on a state visit to the U.S. offered the idea of a new deal at a joint White House press conference with his U.S. counterpart as a way of salvaging the 2015 agreement, which Trump has threatened to leave.

The offer seemed calculated to appease the U.S. 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.

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, where a traditional arrival ceremony featured nearly 500 members of the U.S. military and a booming 21-gun salute.

“We have a very special relationship, in fact I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off,” Trump said. “We have to make him perfect – he is perfect.

“I will get that little piece of dandruff off, says Trump as he flicks at Macron’s jacket – video

At a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, Macron observed that while Trump saw the Iran nuclear agreement as “a bad deal”, he believes it is “not sufficient” and proposed a new deal, that would complement the JCPOA.

“I’m not saying, we are moving one deal to another,” Macron said, but added that the JCPOA was just one aspect of the problems Iran presented.

He said that while the JCPOA restricted Iran’s major nuclear activities until 2025, a new deal would go further, imposing a permanent check on those activities, while also limiting the country’s development of ballistic activities, and its military operations across the region, particularly in Syria.

The new agreement would include regional powers, like Russia and Iran, who are involved in the Syrian conflict.

The French president said his White House discussions with Trump “make it possible to pave the way for a new agreement”. He also insisted: “France is not naive when it comes to Iran. We also have a lot of respect for the Iranian people … but we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

In their remarks, Trump and Macron both hinted heavily that they were close to an understanding.

Referring to his decision on May 12 on whether to continue signing presidential sanctions waivers, Trump suggested he had confided his intentions to his French counterpart.

“Nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th,” he said, turning to Macron and adding: “Though Mr President, you have a pretty good idea.”

“We can change and we can be flexible. In life, you have to be flexible,” Trump concluded at the end of the joint press conference.

Macron said that U.S. and French officials were working “intensively” together to fashion a new common approach to Iran and the region.

“Regarding Iran, we have a disagreement regarding the JCPOA but I think we are overcoming it by deciding to work towards a deal, an overall deal.”

At one point, however, Trump issued a blunt warning: “If Iran threatens us, they are going to pay a price like few countries have ever paid.”

The U.S. president was also asked about previous hints that he will withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, where he, Macron and Theresa May recently coordinated airstrikes in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons. (Sputnik/NAN).