By Hamid Bayati

Did Trump deceive Macron again?

September 8, 2018

Speaking at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Vienna, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's remarks on the necessity of holding missile and regional negotiations with Iran surprised many of his addressees!

 While the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is ambiguous as a result of the United States' withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and also the European officials' delay in presenting their package of proposals, the French Foreign Minister emphasizes on holding talks with Iran on regional and missile issues!

Le Drian said: "Iran must respect the fundamentals of the JCPOA [nuclear deal] and I think that is the case, but Iran cannot avoid discussions, negotiations on three other major subjects that worry us -- the future of Iran's nuclear commitments after 2025, the ballistic question and the fact there is a sort of ballistic proliferation on the part of Iran... and the role Iran plays to stabilize the whole region.We must talk about these three subjects, Iran must be aware of this and that's the message I send to them from Vienna."

Indeed, what does Le Drian's words mean? Is it merely another role-playing by the French officials?  Or should we look for other factors behind these statements? Accordingly, there are some points that need to be taken into consideration:

• Middle east 

• Europe 

• Americas 

The fact is that France has long been regarded as “an emissary of Trump”, though Le Drian has insisted that it's not true. This is while he has taken a firm line on Iran’s missile program and regional interventions that mirrors the rhetoric from Washington.

 Besides, a review on Le Drian's statements shows that agreements were made between France and the United States to form an opposition to Iran's policies. Meanwhile, in 2017, Macron and Trump started a "joint and comprehensive" move, in a fully coordinated manner, to change the JCPOA.

On this basis, Macron was committed to provide the ground for holding missile negotiations with Iran, and also for making the so called sunset clauses included in the text of the deal permanent. These were the French men duties. Now, apparently, the JCPOA is about to be destroyed as a result of the U.S. pulling out of the deal.

However, Paris commitment to Washington remains strong! It seems that Macron is once again deceived by Trump and his false promises, just like the way he was deceived in 2017 over "changing the JCPOA".  Anyway, this position taken by the French authorities will have no results but destroying Paris' international reliability.

The next point here is that, according to informed sources, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had direct and regular talks with Le Derian and other French senior officials on the JCPOA, and matching the practical positions of Paris and Washington. Though it was thought that negotiations would be stopped after the withdrawal of Trump from the nuclear deal, the existing evidence suggests that these bi-lateral negotiations are still going on.

The latest order issued by Trump, Pompeo and Bolton to the French government is about the Europe's package of proposals for Iran. Although the European troika could have been able to offer this package to Iran earlier, the White House has asked them to postpone it so that the effects of the secondary sanctions on our country would be determined.

 In other words, much of Europe's delay in delivering their package to Iran is the result of secret negotiations and instructions given by the Trump government to foreign ministers of European countries, including Jean-Yves Le Drian. During the last Vienna meeting (negotiations between Iran and members of the P4 + 1), Le Drian officially announced that the proposed package of European countries to Iran will not be presented soon!

 Without a doubt, Le Drian decided to play the role of U.S. Secretary of State "Mike Pompeo" in his absence, the way former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius played the role of U.S. Secretary of State in the negotiations with Iran over the course of the nuclear talks, as he expressed John Kerry’s demands from his tongue!

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