French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that a US withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear agreement could lead to war.
The French leader told Der Spiegel Donald Trump’s threats to abandon the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would “mean opening Pandora’s box…leading the U.S. and European allies toward armed conflict.”
“It could mean war,”he added “I don’t believe that Donald Trump wants war.”
He added: “My view — I do not know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” adding that such a measure “can work in the short term but it is very insane in the medium to long term”.
Press TV reports: Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against it.
Trump has described the deal, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.
The US president has threatened to pull out of the JCPOA unless Congress and America’s European allies help “fix” it by May 12.
In late April, Macron made a visit to the US mainly to persuade Washington to stay in the JCPOA. Following the meeting, the French president told reporters that he thought Trump would decide to exit the deal.
Macron noted that a new deal is needed with Tehran which should incorporate three additional elements, namely Iran’s ballistic missile program, the country’s regional influence and what happens after 2025 when Tehran will restart part of its nuclear program under the accord.
Iranian leaders, however, have repeatedly stressed that the JCPOA is non-negotiable and dismissed the possibility of continuing with the agreement solely with America’s European allies.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again accused Iran of continuing to hide and expand what he called its nuclear weapons program.
On Tuesday, he presented what he alleged was “new and conclusive proof” of violations, and claimed Iran had lied about its capabilities at the time of the agreement’s signing.
A day after Netanyahu’s allegation, the UN nuclear agency reiterated in a statement that it had “no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009,” citing its assessments from 2015.