Macron, Rouhani agree to work on saving nuke deal

US-Saudi cooperation to destabilise Mideast: Iran

Published: May 01, 2018 00:36:41

Emmanuel Macron (left) and Hassan Rouhani shaking hands

In a phone call Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani agreed to work together in the coming weeks to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, according to a statement released by the French presidency, reports Agencies.

In their hour-long conversation, Macron hoped that the achievements of the negotiations would be preserved and discussions opened on three additional subjects, the Elysee Palace said, citing Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025, and the main crises in the Middle East.

The French president has been making efforts to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the United States has threatened to leave under President Donald Trump.

Macron visited Washington last week, hoping to persuade Trump not to impose sanction on Iran before a May 12 deadline.

Meanwhile, Iran said on Monday cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States (US) will further destabilise the Middle East, a senior official said, adding that Tehran will continue its presence in the region despite Washington's pressure to limit its influence.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on a flying visit to the region, said on Sunday that the United States was deeply concerned by Iran's "destabilising and malign activities" in the Middle East.

"The cooperation between America and Saudi Arabia will further destabilise the Middle East and will lead to more crisis in the region," Iranian state TV quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

"Pompeo's remarks about Iran are baseless and repetitive ... As long as the legitimate governments of the regional countries need our help, Iran will remain in those countries."

On his visit to Riyadh, Pompeo reassured Iran's key regional rival Saudi Arabia that the United States would exit Iran's 2015 multinational nuclear deal, unless European signatories of the accord 'fix' it.

US President Donald Trump has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to "fix the terrible flaws" of the 2015 nuclear deal, or he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran.

Under Iran's settlement with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program to satisfy the powers that it could not be put to developing atomic bombs. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.

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