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Macron, Trump Call For New Negotiations With Iran For No Nuclear Weapons

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron during a French-US ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, June 6, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron during a French-US ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, June 6, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump and his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron say they agree that new negotiations with Iran are needed.

Following their meeting in Caen, France on Thursday June 6, Macron said that Paris and Washington share the same objectives concerning Iran.

This comes while Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran, and France is one of the European trio with UK and Germany that have remained in the 2015 deal and have been working to reduce U.S. pressures on Iran by designing a financial mechanism to help Iran with Its international trade and banking in spite of U.S. sanctions.

Nevertheless, the two presidents have been noticeably trying to downplay their differences after their meeting on Thursday.

"I don’t think we have differences over Iran," Trump said, adding in his other comments about Iran: "They are failing as a nation. I don’t want them to fail as a nation. I understand they want to talk and if they want to talk that’s fine we’ll talk."

Trump added that he and Macron agreed that Tehran should not have nuclear weapons, while reiterating his offer to re-open negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.

He said he believes Iran wants to engage in negotiations and he would be prepared for such talks.

He said two years ago Iran was a true state of terror, adding that Iran was behind atrocities in Yemen and Syria. "They are not doing that anymore," Trump said, adding, however, that "They are doing very poorly as a nation. They are failing as nation, and I don't want them to be failing as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly."

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is going to pay a three-day visit to Tehran and hold talks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in what is generally believed to be a prelude to mediation between Tehran and Washington and renewing talks with Tehran.

President Trump renewed his offer of negotiating with Tehran during a recent visit to Tokyo. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also visited Tokyo in May. Iranian media have since speculating Japan's mediatory role between Tehran and Washington.

According to Sharq newspaper in Tehran, Abe's upcoming visit is the first visit to Iran by a Japanese Prime Minister after 15 years, and while in Tehran, he may also discuss trade, which has been declining since China replaced Japan in the Iranian market in the past decade.

President Macron said France and the United States also want to reduce Iran's ballistic missile programme, contain Tehran's regional ambitions, and restore peace in the region.

Talking about Paris and Washington's shared views, Macron said the debates between the two nations are only on "technicalities."

The U.S. imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran during the past year that have paralyzed the country's economy. In the meantime tensions have been growing lately between Tehran and Washington and the United States deployed USS Abraham Lincoln, B-52 bombers and 1500 additional troops to region.

Iran's neighbors in the region, as well as the United States have accused Tehran of being involved in attacks on shipping in the Arabian Sea.

Other signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran, France, Germany, UK, Russia and China have been struggling to keep Iran in the deal and to reduce tension after the U.S pull-out.

In the meantime, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has remained in compliance with the deal, based on regular inspections, although Tehran has said recently that it was suspending some of its obligations under the nuclear deal also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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    Behrouz Turani

    Behrouz Turani is a British-Iranian writer and journalist as well as a consultant on Iran's political dynamics and the Iranian media landscape.