0400 GMT March 17, 2018
“The president spoke of the importance of preserving the Iran nuclear deal, and the necessity for all parties to the agreement to respect the commitments they made,” Reuters quoted the Elysee statement as saying on Saturday.
The telephone exchange took place on Friday, but it was not immediately clear whether it came before or after US President Donald Trump gave the nuclear deal a final reprieve whilst warning European allies they had to work with him to “fix the terrible flaws” of the pact or face US withdrawal.
Iran has always said its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes and that it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.
However, Macron says he wants an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and he told Netanyahu that efforts concerning Iranian ballistics as well as its regional role should continue.
China’s support for deal
China on Saturday pledged to continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementing the nuclear deal.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone that the implementation of the deal had not been “derailed” but would face “some new complicating factors,” the state news agency Xinhua reported.
Continuing to implement the nuclear deal was the responsibility of all parties concerned and the common wish of the international community, Wang was quoted as saying during the call, which took place on a visit to Rwanda.
The deal would help uphold the international nonproliferation regime, maintain regional peace and stability and solve “other hot issues” around the world, he said.
He urged Iran to remain calm and continue to fulfill its obligations under the deal.
Russia, which is also a signatory to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said on Saturday the US would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of Iran’s nuclear deal and underlined Moscow’s determination to keep the landmark accord intact.
Under the 2015 deal with Russia, the US, China, France, Britain, Germany and the EU, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.
Meanwhile, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Sunday slammed the US stance on the deal, saying “Parliament will not accept any change in the structure of the nuclear deal, ” Tasnim News Agency reported.
Speaking to IRIB, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi downplayed Washington’s move, saying, “His recent threat was not something new at all.”