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Macron and other European leaders pledge to salvage Iran deal

French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed Europe's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday while urging Tehra...

Posted: May 9, 2018 6:58 PM
Updated: May 9, 2018 6:58 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed Europe's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday while urging Tehran to take part in future discussions over its ballistic missile program.

A day after US President Donald Trump announced he was quitting the pact, putting him on a collision course with some of the US' closest allies, Macron spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone as attempts to salvage the deal began in earnest.

According to an -lys-e Palace readout of the call, Macron urged Iran to "engage in a wide discussion with all parties involved" on topics including the country's nuclear program after 2025, its ballistic missiles and its actions across the Middle East.

Macron confirmed that the French and Iranian foreign ministers would meet soon to ensure progress.

Earlier Wednesday, France's Foreign Secretary Jean-Yves Le Drian had attempted to calm tensions by insisting the Iran deal was "not dead."

"The American logic is an isolationist, protectionist and unilateral logic," Le Drian told French radio station RTL. "This is a break with international commitment and France deeply regrets this decision. We will bring businesses together in the coming days to try and preserve them as much as possible from the US measures."

Representatives from France, the UK and Germany -- key signatories to the six-nation negotiating group that brokered the 2015 Obama-era Iran deal -- would meet with their Iranian counterparts on Monday and were committed to preserving the agreement, Le Drian said.

That may yet prove difficult. On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast doubt on whether the agreement could be saved by Europe and accused Trump of telling "several lies" during his announcement.

In his speech Tuesday, Trump described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to curb Iran's nuclear program as "defective at its core" and said "it didn't bring peace, and it never will."

Trump said the "decaying and rotten" agreement would not prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb, and railed against the fact that it didn't address Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for US-designated terrorist groups in the Middle East.

While Trump's withdrawal represented a huge setback for the Iran deal, a source close to Macron's office insisted Wednesday that it was only the end of a chapter, not the end of the story.

During a visit to Washington in late April, Macron floated the idea of a broader deal that would address Iran's ballistic missile program and wider role in the region.

Sources at the -lys-e Palace told CNN that Iran's President had been open to the idea of a broader deal before Trump's announcement. The question now, the sources said, was whether Rouhani remains receptive now Trump has quit the pact. Iran did not respond to a CNN request for comment.

Merkel, May pledge to uphold deal

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference that Germany had noted the US decision with "regret and concern" but said that Iran had "stuck to its obligations" laid out in the agreement.

''We must not question the Iran deal, however we also need to talk about a broader deal that goes beyond it," Merkel added.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May echoed her European counterparts Wednesday, telling Parliament that the pact was "an important step forward in helping to keep the world safe" and that she had made clear to Trump "in a number of conversations" that the deal should stay in place.

May conceded there were other issues related to Iran that needed to be addressed, including "ballistic missiles, the question of what would happen at the sunset clause at the end of the nuclear deal, and the destabilizing activity of Iran in the region. Those are issues that need to be addressed and we are working with our European and other allies to do just that."

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Parliament he regretted Trump's decision, but added that "Britain has no intention of walking away."

In a statement published Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that "as of today" Iran has met all of the requirements of the nuclear deal.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said, "Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime under the JCPOA."

Anger in Tehran

Trump's decision sparked anger in Tehran, where Iranian lawmakers burned printouts of the American flag and the Iran deal in parliament Wednesday. The lawmakers were set to vote on a motion that would call for a "proportionate and reciprocal action" against the US for leaving the JCPOA, semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

President Rouhani said Iran would take a few weeks to decide how to respond to the US withdrawal, but ordered the country's "atomic industry organization" to be prepared to "start our industrial (uranium) enrichment without limitations." He said Iran would abide by its commitments while it consults with the other signatories to the JPCOA.

On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei described Trump's address as "shallow" and warned that Iran would not be intimidated by the US.

"Last night you heard the shallow statements Trump made. There were several lies in his speech. He threatened the Iranian govt. and the Iranian nation, claiming he would do one thing or another. On behalf of Iranian nation: 'Mr. Trump, you couldn't lift a finger if you tried,'" Khamenei tweeted in English on Wednesday.

In an earlier tweet Khamenei said: "I don't trust these three EU countries either. If the govt. wants to make a contract, they should ask for a guarantee, or else they will all do just as the U.S. did. If there's not definite guarantee, the #JCPOA cannot continue."

While Trump's decision was met with dismay in Europe, Israel and Saudi Arabia praised the US withdrawal.

"Thank you President Trump for your bold decision and your commitment to prevent Iran from ever getting nuclear weapons," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted Tuesday.

Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US and brother of the Crown Prince, wrote on Twitter that his country "fully supports" Trump's decision and added that "we always had reservations with regards to sunset clauses, ballistic missiles program, and Iran's support for terrorism in the region."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 727764

Reported Deaths: 13397
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion995211738
Lake53461965
Allen40457675
St. Joseph35506550
Hamilton35489408
Elkhart28433441
Tippecanoe22359218
Vanderburgh22284396
Porter18668307
Johnson17905377
Hendricks17180315
Clark12930191
Madison12592339
Vigo12431246
Monroe11858170
LaPorte11821210
Delaware10648185
Howard9865216
Kosciusko9378117
Hancock8251140
Bartholomew8052155
Warrick7771155
Floyd7649177
Grant7027174
Wayne7026199
Boone6679101
Morgan6555139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6005111
Dearborn579277
Cass5788105
Henry5688103
Noble558883
Jackson500872
Shelby490296
Lawrence4505120
Harrison434772
Gibson434692
Clinton427053
DeKalb426484
Montgomery423588
Whitley394739
Huntington389080
Steuben383857
Miami380666
Knox371890
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Putnam358860
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Jefferson328881
White313254
Daviess295899
Wells291081
Decatur284292
Fayette279262
Greene277385
Posey271033
Scott265453
LaGrange265370
Clay259146
Washington240032
Randolph239781
Spencer232031
Jennings229549
Starke215453
Fountain212046
Sullivan211142
Owen198156
Fulton194740
Jay192530
Carroll188320
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush172925
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Franklin167735
Tipton162445
Parke145916
Blackford134632
Pike133234
Pulaski116445
Newton107234
Brown101641
Crawford99314
Benton98414
Martin88315
Warren81715
Switzerland7848
Union70810
Ohio56411
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1081518

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1256551400
Cuyahoga1117782115
Hamilton798901205
Montgomery513291014
Summit47080945
Lucas42049788
Butler38301584
Stark32242906
Lorain24958481
Warren24262298
Mahoning21511588
Lake20618369
Clermont19747238
Delaware18503133
Licking16410212
Fairfield16160199
Trumbull16019468
Medina15247264
Greene15043244
Clark13970299
Wood13065189
Portage12825203
Allen11626232
Richland11323199
Miami10661217
Muskingum8799133
Wayne8784211
Columbiana8766229
Pickaway8551121
Marion8514135
Tuscarawas8470244
Erie7871154
Hancock6906127
Ross6842155
Ashtabula6792170
Geauga6677148
Scioto6405101
Belmont5873167
Union570348
Lawrence5546102
Jefferson5521151
Huron5427119
Darke5347123
Sandusky5337120
Seneca5275121
Athens518858
Washington5153109
Auglaize489584
Mercer480385
Shelby468893
Knox4483110
Madison435561
Putnam4278100
Fulton421669
Ashland421489
Defiance419297
Crawford3970107
Brown393857
Logan381576
Preble379398
Clinton371263
Ottawa366679
Highland354662
Williams338575
Champaign331458
Guernsey315653
Jackson312151
Perry294850
Morrow284639
Fayette281550
Hardin270664
Henry268466
Coshocton264557
Holmes2593101
Van Wert243363
Adams237752
Pike237534
Gallia235349
Wyandot230855
Hocking215262
Carroll191247
Paulding172540
Meigs144740
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108323
Harrison107637
Vinton82815
Unassigned02
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