France: Iran Deal 'Not Dead' Despite U.S. Pullout, Talks Slated With Tehran

France's foreign minister says concerns about Iran can be addressed without ditching the deal

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018.
\ KEVIN LAMARQUE/ REUTERS

France's foreign minister said Wednesday that the nuclear deal with Iran was "not dead" despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out from the agreement, adding that French President Emmanuel Macron would speak later in the day to Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani.
 
"The deal is not dead. There's an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there," the minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told French radio station RTL. 

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Le Drian's views were echoed by those of French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who also told French radio that Trump's decision on Iran was a mistake and that the United States should not consider itself as the world's "economic policeman." 

Le Drian said France, like others, was well aware that there were concerns about issues other than nuclear capability, namely topics such as Iran's ballistic weapons program, but added they too could be addressed without ditching the nuclear deal. 

Le Drian, interviewed just hours after the announcement by Trump, said Macron's contact with Rohani would be followed by meetings next week, probably on Monday, involving the Iranians and European counterparts from France, Britain and Germany. 

Le Drian also told RTL radio that meetings would also be held with the likes of oil giant Total and others with major business and economic stakes in the region. 

"Yes, there is a real risk of confrontation," he told RTL, regarding Trump's decision on Iran. 

"I hope it will not be a setback for peace," he added.