Macron: "Washington's withdrawal from JCPOA could lead to war"
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has warned that a possible Washington withdrawal from JCPOA could lead to a war.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, Macron pointed to US President Donald Trump's threats to abandon the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and said, "That would mean opening Pandora's box, it could mean war".
Macron added: "I do not believe that Donald Trump wants war. My view — I do not know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons".
The French president added: "Such a measure can work in the short term but it is very insane in the medium to long term."
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015, and started implementing it on 16 January, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against it.
Trump has described the deal, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.
The US president has threatened to pull out of the JCPOA unless Congress and America's European allies help “fix” it by May 12.
In late April, Macron made a visit to the US mainly to persuade Washington to stay in the JCPOA. Following the meeting, the French president told reporters that he thought Trump would decide to exit the deal.
Iranian leaders, however, have repeatedly stressed that the JCPOA is non-negotiable and dismissed the possibility of continuing with the agreement solely with America's European allies.