French President Frances Macron arrived in Washington, DC, on Monday for a state visit and what appears to be an attempt to keep America in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s pending decision to either keep or scrap it.
President Trump has stated he will tear the deal up unless America’s Chinese and European allies — Russia, Britain, France, and Germany — fix the treaty’s “terrible flaws” by mid-May.
“Is this agreement perfect and this JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran? No. But for nuclear — what do you have? As a better option? I don’t see it,” Macron said Sunday during an interview with Fox News where he noted there was no “Plan B” for keeping Iran’s nuclear ambitions under control.
Macron also said, “I’m not satisfied with the situation with Iran” but urged Trump not to leave the deal without a “better option,” which he reportedly intends to discuss with Trump this week.
Reuters reported that at a nuclear non-proliferation conference in Geneva, U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action continues to be the best way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and to realize the promised tangible economic benefits for the Iranian people.”
However, Reuters also noted that America’s non-proliferation envoy, Christopher Ford, said, “Iran (is) a country that for years illegally and secretly sought to develop nuclear weapons, suspended its weaponization work only when confronted by the potentially direst of consequences without ever coming clean about its illicit endeavors.”
Ford reportedly added, “For several more years (it) continued its efforts to enrich uranium in violation of legally-binding U.N. Security Council requirements, and retains the ability to position itself, several years hence, dangerously close to rapid weaponization.”
Upon his arrival in New York on Thursday for a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States would face an “unpleasant” response if Washington pulls out of the nuclear deal.
“Definitely, the measure that the Islamic Republic would take and the reaction that the international community would show to the US move would be very unpleasant to the Americans,” Zarif said.