French President Macron urges U.S. not to withdraw from Iran deal

French President Emmanuel Macron pointed to France's special relationship with the U.S. and urged its ally to not retreat from the world stage. In his address to Congress, Macron touched on Syria, North Korea, climate change, and most notably the Iran deal.


In a ringing address to both chambers of Congress, Macron declared that Iran "shall never possess nuclear weapons, not in five years, not in 10 years, never."

The French leader did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump's vocal opposition to the 2015 deal as Trump weighs a decision next month whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran.

But Macron said, "We must ensure stability" and not abrogate the accord, pointedly saying that France "signed it at the initiative of the United States," which was negotiated by Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

Macron, as he did in talks with Trump on Tuesday at the White House, called for negotiations for a new agreement with Iran over Tehran's ballistic missile tests and military involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday rejected the idea of a new deal or any changes in the nuclear pact reached after lengthy negotiations with Britain, Germany, Russia, China, France and the United States.

Trump has continued to assail the Iran nuclear deal as "insane" and "ridiculous" and made no commitment to stick with the nuclear pact as he approaches a May 12 deadline for a decision on new sanctions. Trump stands alone among the signatories to the Iran deal in opposing it.

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