Trump and Macron seek to resolve U.S.-European differences on Iran deal

Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday to try to resolve U.S.-European differences on Iran but Trump gave no clear signal about whether he would carry out a threat to abandon an international nuclear deal with Tehran.After lengthy talks at the White House, Macron told a joint news conference with Trump that they had discussed “a new deal” that would strengthen the 2015 accord along the lines Trump wants, such as by addressing Iran’s expansion in the Middle East and its ballistic missile program.

Trump continued his hostile rhetoric toward the nuclear deal, calling it terrible, ridiculous and insane and threatening Iran with repercussions should it restart its nuclear program.“If Iran threatens us in any way, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid,” Trump said.Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to keep the United States in the agreement and is under strong European pressure to remain in it, with Macron saying that while imperfect it holds the best chance of containing Tehran.“We want to come home. We’ll be coming home. But we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint,” Trump said.

Iran has said it will ramp up its nuclear program if the deal collapses and a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday that Tehran might quit a treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons if Trump scraps the agreement.Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions in return for relief from economic sanctions. Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful means.

Trump said he and Macron could have an agreement soon on the Iran deal. “We could have at least an agreement among ourselves very quickly. I think we’re fairly close to understanding each other.”A U.S. withdrawal from the Iran agreement would raise tensions in an already volatile region, possibly prompting an arms race involving Saudi Arabia. Iran says its nuclear program is aimed only at peaceful purposes.