‘What’s your other option, war?’: Macron blasts Trump’s policy towards Iran

French president Emmanuel Macron wants Donald Trump to back the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement or come up with another option. If not then Iran will end up with nuclear weapons, Macron says.

'What's your other option, war?': Macron blasts Trump's policy towards Iran
Photo: AFP

US pressure to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal could push Tehran into deciding to build its own nuclear weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron warned in an interview published Thursday.

“If you want to stop any relation with Iran regarding nuclear activity, you will create a new North Korea,” Macron told Time magazine.

“If you stop the 2015 agreement, what's your other option? To launch war? To attack Iran? I think it would be crazy in the region,” he said.

Macron called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in July 2015 between Iran and six powers, including France and the United States, “the best possible deal regarding Iran.”

But US President Donald Trump has labelled the agreement too lenient on Iran and accuses the country of violating it, calling for a renegotiation.

If the US abrogates the JPCOA, Macron said, it will backfire.

“Because it's exactly what we experienced with North Korea. And suddenly you will wake up in ten to twelve years time without any control, but (Iran)
having the nuclear weapon.”

Macron said he wants Washington to join an effort to force Iran to stop supplying ballistic missiles to its allies in the region, pointing to the
missile launched at Saudi Arabia last week by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

“So we should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region.”

Macron also explained why Trump was not invited to the Paris climate summit in December.

“I made it very clear from the very beginning that there is no renegotiation of the Paris Agreement,” the 2015 global pact to fight climate change agreed by president Barack Obama but rejected by Trump.

“Because he cannot renegotiate with more than one hundred eighty or 190 countries,” Macron said.

“We are definitely making the reforms too slowly,” Macron noted. “It's very important to deliver the message and to show the strong evidence of the fact that Paris Agreement is still active.”

If Trump offers a new climate initiative that would go further than the existing one, Macron said, “I would be very happy.”

“But I just say what is unacceptable is to deliver speeches without any deeds and any reality.”


‘We have a lot to do’: Macron congratulates Joe Biden on winning US presidential election

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday congratulated US president-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on their election victory.

'We have a lot to do': Macron congratulates Joe Biden on winning US presidential election
Joe Biden. AFP

“The Americans have chosen their president,” said Macron

“We have a lot to do to overcome today's challenges. Let's work together!” Macron tweeted, in French and English, after major US media networks announced Biden's victory over incumbent Donald Trump.

Macron has never met Biden, who will in January become the 46th president of the United States.

France under Macron is keen for Europe to move away from its reliance on US military might, for defence in particular.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted to Biden's win by saying “Welcome back America”.


Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday reinforced recent statements from Paris that the nature of US-EU relations had permanently changed under Trump.

Europe needs to build a “new trans-atlantic relationship, which is a new partnership” irrespective of who wins, he said then.

“We cannot go back to the status quo ante, to a kind of good old days in the trans-atlantic relationship,” as Europe affirms its sovereignty in security, defence and strategic autonomy, Le Drian added.

Apart from the far right, the French political class generally hailed Biden's victory at the polls, which saw him win more votes than any other US president in history.

Former French president Francois Hollande, who was in office when Trump came to power in 2016, welcomed the “good news for American democracy”.

Biden has promised to return the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement after Trump pulled out of it.

Hollande hailed the “happy news for the planet with the return of United States in the climate agreement”.