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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 5:58 PM
Updated: May 9, 2018 5:58 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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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