Trump, Macron discuss Iran deal in White House meeting
Iran Press TV
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:53AM
US President Donald Trump and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron have met at the White House, in a summit that is expected to revolve around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and Washington's plans to leave it.
Macron's two-day visit began with a lavish dinner that Trump and his wife, Melania, had arranged for Macorn and the French first lady, Bridgette, at George Washington's historic Mount Vernon mansion.
Trump's first presidential dinner seemed to be a response to a similar event Macron held for Trump on the Eiffel Tower last summer.
To ease tensions between the two leaders, who appeared to have differing views on a series of issues in the recent months, Macron greeted Trump with an air kiss on his cheek as he arrived for his state visit.
The Trumps and Macrons then posed for a brief photo-op before golf carts took them to Washington's plantation mansion.
After their two-hour meal, the presidents and their wives re-boarded the Marine One presidential helicopter to embark on the rest of the visit, which will see Macron and Trump hold weighty diplomatic talks.
Topping the agenda will be a slew of pressing foreign policy issues, including the Iran deal and the years-long conflict in Syria.
Trump has been a vocal critic of the Iran nuclear deal which was signed between Tehran and six world powers -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany -- in 2015.
Trump has called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) the "worst deal ever" and even threatened to tear it up.
The French president's visit comes ahead of a May 12 deadline for Trump to decide whether to extend waivers of economic sanctions on Iran, a US commitment under the agreement.
In January, Trump did extend those waivers, but said the European signatories should fix "the terrible flaws" of the accord by May 12 or he will refuse to do that again.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday warned the United States against violating the nuclear deal, saying any failure to respect the multinational agreement would entail "grave consequences."
"Today, we are standing by our commitments stronger than ever before. However, anyone seeking to betray their commitments to us should know that the grave consequences of such a move will affect themselves," he said.
Earlier this month, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the United States would get out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic republic.
She accused Iran of supporting terrorism and violating the terms of the historic nuclear agreement and went on to say that the Europeans are closing their eyes on this but added that the United States would not do that.
Last month, Trump brought two anti-Iran hawks into his cabinet, fueling speculation that he could be preparing to withdraw the US from the deal.
Ex-CIA chief Mike Pompeo has been nominated to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, while John Bolton was picked as Trump's national security adviser.
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