Iran nuclear deal 'not dead' despite US pullout, says French Foreign Minister

An Iranian man checks a newspaper in Teheran on May 9, 2018, a day after US President Donald Trump announced the US is pulling out of the nuclear deal.
An Iranian man checks a newspaper in Teheran on May 9, 2018, a day after US President Donald Trump announced the US is pulling out of the nuclear deal.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS, AFP) - France's Foreign Minister said on Wednesday (May 9) that the 2015 nuclear restraint deal with Iran was "not dead" despite President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out from the agreement, and added that French President Emmanuel Macron would speak later in the day to Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

"This agreement is not dead," Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian told French radio station RTL.

Mr Le Drian, interviewed just hours after the announcement by Mr Trump, said Mr Macron's contact with Mr Rouhani would be followed by meetings next week, probably on Monday, involving the Iranians and European counterparts from France, Britain and Germany.

"We will meet with my British and German colleagues on Monday, and also with representatives of Iran, to consider the entire situation," Mr Le Drian said.

Mr Le Drian’s views were echoed by those of French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who also told French radio that Mr Trump’s decision on Iran was a mistake and that the United States should not consider itself as the world’s “economic policeman”.

Mr Le Drian said France, like others, was well aware that there were concerns about issues other than nuclear capability, namely topics such as Iran’s ballistic weapons programme, but added they too could be addressed without ditching the nuclear deal.

Mr Le Drian also told RTL radio that meetings would also be held with the likes of oil giant Total and others with major business and economic stakes in the region.

"Yes, there is a real risk of confrontation," he told RTL, regarding Mr Trump's decision on Iran.

"I hope it will not be a setback for peace," he added.