French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the White House armed with a plan to preserve the Iran nuclear deal that is due to expire next month unless US President Donald Trump extends it.
Trump has threatened to scrap the Obama-era 2015 deal that expires on 12 May, saying the only way to get a better deal is to kill the current one.
Macron hoped to entice Trump with an updated accord that seeks to contain Iran’s wider regional ambitions, as well as their nuclear programme. It would also see the plan extended beyond 2025.
Following the meeting Trump and Macron have suggested there could be a new agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. Meanwhile, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit the US on Friday to make a last-minute bid to dissuade Trump from torpedoing the agreement.
These are the four points of Macron’s plan.
Preserve the joint current comprehensive plan of action that removed sanctions on Iran and replaced them with restrictions on Tehran’s enrichment of uranium that could be used for a bomb
Extend the current pact beyond 2025
Address Iran’s ballistic missile programme
Include containment of Iran’s regional security policies in the pact that have been accused of destabilising the region, especially in Syria, Gaza and Yemen
Trump and Macron appeared to find some common ground during the meeting.
At a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, Macron said the side deal might include a permanent check on nuclear activities, while also limiting Tehran’s development of ballistic missiles and its military operations in places like Syria.
France is not naive when it comes to Iran. We also have a lot of respect for the Iranian people … but we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
We can change and we can be flexible. In life, you have to be flexible. I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger, maybe, deal
If Iran threatens us, they are going to pay a price like few countries have ever paid.
Trump is also calling for the signatories of the accord, the US, the UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany, to agree to permanent restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, as under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025.
Trump added that he had already decided on his course of action on the Iran deal.
Doing some posturing of its own, Iran warned of “severe consequences” if the US withdraws from the deal.