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Emmanuel Macron to press Trump to hold the Iran Nuclear Deal

"I suspect this will be a very difficult conversation," said Wendy R. Sherman, the former Secretary of State who negotiated the Iran deal for Obama. "I'm sure Macron will say how important it is to stay in a transatlantic relationship on this matter, especially in security, and I think Merkel will send the same message on Friday."

Nonetheless, that signaled White House on Monday that Mr. Trump enters the talks with a firm impression: "He thinks it's a bad deal ̵

1; that certainly has not changed," said Sarah White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

If Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel persuade Mr. Trump to abide by the Iranian agreement, this could be the President's upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, who already has a small nuclear arsenal. Whatever their mistakes, American officials understand that Iran's cancellation a few days before this meeting could complicate Mr. Trump's chances of reaching an agreement with Kim.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, implicitly asserted this on Monday by stating that the negotiations that led to the nuclear agreement between his country and six participating world powers were given and accepted from all sides.

"And now the United States says," What's mine is mine, and what's yours is negotiable. But whatever I've given you, now I want it back, "Zarif said in an interview with The National Interest, a political magazine in Washington," who in their right opinion would negotiate more with the US? "

Mr Trump faces conflicting positions among his own advisers as he reassembles his national security team, and John R. Bolton, his new national security advisor, has long campaigned to end the Iran deal, while Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, willing to retain him if strong new regulations can be negotiated

Macron arrived for a solemn reception in Washington: American and French flags flew on Pennsylvania Avenue when he and his wife Brigitte Macron arrived in Washington White House arrived and were greeted by Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

Mr. Macron grabbed a hug and kissed Mr. Trump on both cheeks, in French style, a sign of their warm relationships. The two couples walked in for a few minutes and then out into the South Lawn, smiling and chatting casually as the cameras recorded the moment.


President Trump and his wife Melania with President Emmanuel Macron from France and his wife, Brigitte, on Monday on the South Lawn of the White House. Credit
Doug Mills / The New York Times

With swinging shovels, the two presidents moved some earth where a tree was to be planted, a gift from the Macrons. The tree, a European grape oak, came from Belleau Wood, where nearly 10,000 American marines were killed or injured during the First World War in June 1918. From there, the two couples flew by helicopter to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate dinner.

The Macrons will return to the White House on Tuesday morning for a splendor-filled arrival ceremony on South Lawn, complete with members of all five military branches wearing formal uniforms. The two presidents will hold meetings and hold a joint press conference. In the evening, the Trumps will be serving their first state-style rack of lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya in New Orleans style.

Mr. Trump (71) and Mr. Macron (40) have made an unlikely friendship despite their political differences over the Iran deal, international trade, climate change and other issues. But while the Europeans consider Mr. Macron as their envoy to Mr. Trump, he had mixed successes that influenced the President. The two leaders teamed up to launch airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for a presumed chemical attack this month, but when Mr. Macron publicly said that he persuaded Mr. Trump to "send the US troops to the White House in the long term." quickly refute him.

Mr. Macron has more credibility with the Iran deal than the UK or Germany, with France pushing harder for 2015 in the toughest deal. After learning the best way to communicate with Mr. Trump, Macron telegraphed his message by appearing on the president's favorite network, Fox News, over the weekend.

Is the pact "a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran? No," Mr. Macron said on "Fox News Sunday." But for nuclear power, what better option do you have? I do not see it the what-if scenario or your plan B? I have no plan B for nuclear weapons against Iran. "

Mr. Macron added that he was "dissatisfied with the situation in Iran" and supported amendments to the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or J.C.P.O.A. "My point is to say, do not go to J.C.P.O.A. as long as you have no better option for nuclear power and let's complete it with ballistic missiles and regional containment," said Mr. Macron.

Mr. Zarif noted this on Monday to warn that there would be no substitute for the nuclear congress if Mr. Trump retired.

"President Macron is right that there is no Plan B on JCPOA," said Zarif ] on Twitter . "It's either all or nothing, and European leaders should encourage President Trump not only to stay in the nuclear agreement, but above all to implement his part of the agreement in good faith."

Negotiations with European officials led by Brian Hook, head of US Department of State Policy Planning, have found a common ground in the opinion of the people who have consulted on the talks.

Negotiators have agreed measures to impose sanctions on Iran He is testing long-range missiles, but is still divided on how he should react to the testing of short-range and medium-range missiles. They have agreed that Iran will be sanctioned if it blocks international nuclear inspectors of military sites. And they have made progress in defining a trigger for the reintroduction of sanctions – if Iran has extended its nuclear program so far that it can develop a weapon in less than a year.

But the negotiators are at odds about what would happen then. The Trump government wants sanctions to be imposed automatically if Iran leaves this wire, while Europeans want a reassessment to determine whether enlargement is compatible with Iran's civil nuclear program.

"Europeans have come a long way in a couple of months, I think that should be bridgeable, but of course it really depends on Macron and Trump," said Mark Dubowitz, managing director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. "It sounds tight, but it's actually quite fundamental, and it's quite possible that the thing will collapse on that basis."

Russia and China, the other parties to the original agreement, have resisted all changes. "We will block attempts to sabotage these agreements, which have been enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution," Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said Monday after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

Critics of the deal urged Mr. Trump to stay strong. On Monday in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again condemned Israel's agreement

"Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons," he said.

"That's why we are so determined against the Iran deal – because it gives Iran a clear path to a nuclear arsenal" and "does not go into the ballistic missiles that can bring this weapon to many, many countries" , he added. "Therefore, this deal must either be completely or not resolved."

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