French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Wednesday that he believes US President Donald Trump will rip up the 2015 joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) limiting Tehran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons, despite strong suggestions from world leaders to keep the deal and, if necessary, build on it.
“My view — I don’t know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” the 40-year-old French leader said at a speaking engagement at George Washington University.
“If you heard him in the Oval Office you will have come to the same conclusion,” Macron said, noting that it was a “campaign promise.”
Macron clarified that Trump’s pending move will form part of a “strategy of increasing tension” with Iran, whose influence has grown considerably across the Middle East over the past 20 years, despite the US military’s presence in Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Bahrain.
“It can work in the short term but it’s very insane in the medium to long term,” Macron said of Washington’s inability to maintain a consistent position about agreements it has already signed.
The French leader said he plans to call Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss potential diplomatic steps that can be taken should Trump leave the agreement as expected.
Trump has criticized the Iran deal for opening floodgates of funding to Tehran without, in his framing, requiring enough of the nation. World leaders, retired military generals, and sitting Defense Secretary James Mattis, however, have said that it is in America’s interest to keep the agreement going, and no inspection team has ever suggested that Iran has violated the agreement. When presented with Senator Angus King’s (Ind.-ME) question last October, “Do you believe it is in our national security interest at the present time to remain in the JCPOA? That is a yes or no question,” ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis replied, “yes, senator, I do.”
Macron made his comments at the conclusion of his state visit to Washington this week. Macron held extensive talks with Trump, including a one-on-one session, gave a speech to the US Congress on Wednesday, and is speaking at GWU for a town hall event. This week is “France Week” at the university, which is located near the State Department in Foggy Bottom.
Mohammad Marandi, professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, explained to Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear this week that Washington has violated the Iran nuclear arms deal “ever since it was signed.”
“Most importantly, the United States behind the scenes was putting pressure on banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and shipping companies not to work with Iran,” which violates the terms of JCPOA, the professor said.