Macron, Rouhani discuss ways to save nuclear deal

July 7, 2019

TEHRAN – French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned his Iranian counterpart on Saturday to explore ways to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

The telephone conversation took place one day before Iran officially announced that it will start enriching uranium to a purity level above the current 3.67 percent from July 7. The measure followed a 60-day deadline to Europe to protect Iran from the U.S. sanctions.

Rouhani told the French leader that if all U.S. sanctions are ended it could open the way for negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

 “Halting all sanctions can be the start of new movement between Iran and 5+1”, Rouhani said, referring to the signatories of the nuclear agreement.

President Donald Trump ditched the JCPOA in May 2018 and ordered the toughest ever sanctions on Iran.  This happened despite the fact that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has endorsed Iran’s full commitment to the JCPOA for 15 times.

Rouhani also asked the European Union to “act to its duties” and “try more than ever to save the JCPOA”.

Rouhani said that Tehran has tried to save nuclear deal through a “strategic patience” despite all sanctions and pressures.

A statement from French presidency also said Macron had expressed his deep concern to Rouhani over any further weakening of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The statement said the two presidents had agreed "to explore by July 15 the conditions for the resumption of dialogue between all parties."

According to IRNA, the French president also conceded that the European efforts to save the nuclear deal have not been successful and vowed to use all efforts in this regard.

“We admit that European measures for compensating American sanctions have not been effective but we will use all our efforts to compensate it,” the French leader remarked.

PA/PA

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