French envoy to Israel: ‘Possibility of war’ if Iran nuke deal collapses

Source: French envoy to Israel: ‘Possibility of war’ if Iran nuke deal collapses | The Times of Israel

Ambassador Hélène Le Gawarns that if US pulls out of deal, as Trump has threatened, Tehran will do so too, escalating tensions

Helene Le Gal during a ceremony for new ambassadors at the President's residence in Jerusalem, December 12, 2016. (Isaac Harari/FLASH90)

Helene Le Gal during a ceremony for new ambassadors at the President’s residence in Jerusalem, December 12, 2016. (Isaac Harari/FLASH90)

If the US pulls out of the Iranian nuclear deal, Tehran will likely do the same, increasing the chance of war, said French Ambassador to Israel Hélène Le Gal, speaking to Hebrew media as French President Emmanuel Macron wrapped up his visit to Washington this week.

Macron paid a state visit to the US capital, meeting with US President Donald Trump in part to discuss the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement and plead for a more comprehensive “new agreement” that would address what he and Trump believe to be shortcomings of the existing accord.

Trump — a fierce opponent of the agreement signed by Tehran and international powers — must declare by May 12 if he will essentially walk away from the existing deal when the renewal deadline arrives on May 12, or stay in.

Le Gal told Ynet that Macron and Trump have “a very good relationship,” and in their meeting, held “very long discussions about a number of issues, including Iran.”

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The French ambassador said that Macron told Trump that France was “not naive about Iran and about the role of Iran in the region,” but that the world powers must have “a comprehensive approach to this problem, a full pillar approach, and the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the Iran deal is officially called] is one of those pillars.”

The other pillars, Le Gal said, include a plan for what happens after 2025 when United Nations sanctions on Iran lift and Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA expires, requiring a new vote on sanctions; a joint approach on Iran’s contentious ballistic missile program; and reining in Iran’s regional role, particularly in Syria.

Le Gal said that Macron and Trump discussed these issues “very thoroughly,” and that work must be done to implement the nuclear deal very “toughly, with inspections, with everything provided in the deal.”

She said the nuclear deal “prevents Iran from launching a nuclear military program until at least 2015. If the nuclear deal is canceled, Iran will immediately restart this program. We need the JCPOA to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. We don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon, not now or ever.”

If the deal collapses, she went on, “there will be huge consequences because I don’t think Iran will stay in the deal if the US is going [to leave]. The possibility of war exists.”

Trump has branded the Iran deal “insane” and the “worst” in history. He made killing the Iran nuclear accord a campaign pledge during his 2016 presidential run.

After his talk on Wednesday with Trump, Macron said the US president may well pull out of the Iran nuclear deal for domestic political reasons.

In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Hassan Rouhani, left, speaks as he is accompanied by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on a visit to the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the port city of Bushehr, southern Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno)

Near the end of his three-day state visit, Macron told US media that while he did not know specifically what Trump will decide, he believes the US leader “will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons.”

“The rational analysis of all his statements does not make me think that he will do everything to maintain” the agreement signed with Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring an atomic bomb.

The proposal that Macron put forward to his US counterpart involves preserving the existing agreement on the first of “four pillars” of a future deal, as mentioned by Le Gal.

Addressing the US Congress on Wednesday, Macron said: “It is true to say that this agreement may not address all concerns, and very important concerns. This is true. But we should not abandon it without having something substantial and more substantial instead.”

In January, Trump kept the deal alive by waiving sanctions against Iran as required by the pact every six months. But he said flatly it would be the last time he did that unless serious changes were made to the accord.

He specifically called for three major changes: amending the sunset clauses, banning Iran’s capacity to test ballistic missiles, which are currently in violation of UN resolutions but not the nuclear deal, and granting inspectors greater access to Iran’s military sites.

These demands were issued as an ultimatum to Congress and America’s European allies. Trump said that if these alterations were not struck by May 12, the next deadline to waive sanctions, he would walk away from the nuclear deal.

With that deadline mere weeks away, Macron has seemingly sought to find a middle ground with Trump.

Eric Cortellessa contributed to this report.

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4 Comments on “French envoy to Israel: ‘Possibility of war’ if Iran nuke deal collapses”

  1. joopklepzeiker Says:

    Escalating tensions ??

    Iran is threatening to annihilate Israel for years .
    Is this woman stupid ??

  2. IraB Says:

    is she ignorant, dimwitted, or devious? Iran had, decades ago, openly set its’ rotten self on a collision course that inevitably leads to a war of annihilation that they have long planned to wage against Israel!

    How do such inept people rise to positions of influence and power?

  3. wingate Says:

    French foreign policy is a form of prostitution –
    we all know that.
    The lady is the mouthpiece of her boss Macron.
    What are Macrons intentions?
    He wants to be on good terms with the nazi dictators in teheran – hoping to make good business with them, then macron hopes by kissing the terrorists asses in teheran that france will be less targeted by iranian/muslim terror.
    France is economically + socially in very bad shape (like many european countries).
    So france is very much out to go to bed with
    those who offer most…
    France is a role model of european states :
    Economically + socially in bad shape, having lost its christian heritage/foundation, without
    a vision exept of making business…
    Europe is for sure lost…

  4. wingate Says:

    France has turned against the Jews again + again (as all europeans ) and cannot be trusted ( as all europeans ).
    France is paying the price (as all europeans ) :
    Economical+social crisis, moral decline,
    no more credible defense capabilities due to suicidal cutting of the military !
    Its simple:
    You curse the Jews – down the drain you go !

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