French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer a sufficient safeguard against Iranian aggression in the region and the country’s ballistic missile tests, Reuters reported.
Macron was speaking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “Is this agreement enough? No.”, he stated. “It is not, given the evolution of the regional situation and increasing pressure that Iran is exerting on the region, and given increased activity by Iran on the ballistic level since the accord,” Macron told reporters in New York.
The French President also told the media that Iran’s ballistic missile program must be curtailed and suggested to open negotiations immediately on how to limit the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment after “sunset” provisions in the accord start to take effect in 2025.
Macron further warned of Iran’s malign role in the region. “Let’s be honest, the tensions are on the rise, look at the activities of Hezbollah and Iran’s pressure on Syria. We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States,” the President said, adding that France was ready to mediate between the U.S. and Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke in front of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, when he addressed the threat posed by Iran. “It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said. “And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors,” he added.
The President also called the nuclear deal a failure. “The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” Trump said. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told CNN on Monday that America “will pay a high cost if Trump decides to leave the deal.” Defying the demands of Western powers, the Iranian President said that “We [Iran] will increase our military power as a deterrent. We will strengthen our missile capabilities.”
[Photo: Mutualité Française / flickr]