United Nations, United States, Sept 25, 2018 (AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Iran should be allowed to keep selling oil and urged dialogue as he rejected a US push to isolate the clerical regime.
Speaking to reporters after addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Macron said that Iranian sales would bring down the price of oil -- a professed concern of US President Donald Trump.
"It would be good for the price of oil for Iran to be able to sell it. It's good for peace and it's good for the shape of the international price of oil," Macron said.
France and other European powers are setting up a way to allow businesses to keep doing business in Iran in hopes of avoiding sanctions by the United States, which has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Addressing world leaders shortly after Trump, the French president credited the accord with curbing the nuclear program of Iran.
"What will bring a real solution to the situation in Iran and what has already stabilized it? The law of the strongest? Pressure from only one side? No!" Macron said in his address.
"We know that Iran was on a nuclear military path but what stopped it? The 2015 Vienna accord."
Trump has withdrawn from the seven-nation agreement negotiated under his successor Barack Obama, calling it a "disaster" and instead ramping up pressure on Iran including through renewed sanctions.
Supported by Israel and Saudi Arabia, Trump has sought to roll back Iranian influence around the Middle East, including in war-ravaged Syria.
But Macron said: "We should not aggravate regional tensions but rather through dialogue and multilateralism pursue a broader agenda that allows us to address all the concerns caused by Iranian policies -- nuclear, ballistic, regional."