French President Emmanuel Macron wrapped up his three-day visit to the United States with a ominous forecast: that US President Donald Trump will rescind his country’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear was joined by Catherine Shakdam, a Middle East analyst, Thursday to talk about what the move could mean.
Macron and Trump agreed that any deal with Iran should control Iran’s influence in the Middle East and and should prevent Iran from engaging in nuclear activities in the longer term, but the French leader still wasn’t able to convince Trump to keep the deal, reportedly a top priority of his visit.
“My view is… that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” Macron said of the Obama-era pact with the Islamic Republic that was also signed by Germany, the UK China and Russia, plus France.
“It’s gonna be complicated. As far as changing Donald Trump’s mind, I don’t think that anyone can to be honest with you. And I don’t think that Emmanuel Macron is ‘the Trump whisperer,'” Shakdam told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.
While Macron could not push the POTUS on Iran, the two have appeared to find more commonality on Syria. After jointly bombing the country with Britain and the US in early April, the French leader says he’ll work with Trump to build a “new framework” in the Middle East and Syria in particular.
Shakdam says the dropping of the deal could create a world of problems for the European Union. “The EU and France made very clear that it looks upon Iran as — maybe not as a good partner, per se, but at least a valued partner, in that it cannot afford to not have Iran within the fold of the international community,” she said.
That assessment could place the EU between a rock and a hard place. Shakdam says that the US “reneging on the deal… would essentially force the EU and France to face sanctions, should they decide to go ahead with the deal and therefore engage in economic ties, for example, political ties, with Iran.”
Shakdam said, it will be “very difficult to maneuver because how will the US manage at the same time to issue a whole new range of sanctions against Iran, renege on the nuclear deal, continue on its old path and at the same time make good on promises with the EU and France, you know — to have stronger ties… and at the same time forcing them to make a choice between the nuclear deal or their relationship with the United States of America, without giving an incentive?”
Trump justifies the cancellation of the deal by alleging that Iran violated the spirit of the agreement, and issued sanctions against the country in October for it.
“I really don’t think President Trump actually realizes he’s going to have to face all of this in a few weeks’ time,” Shakdam lamented. “I think that all he sees is the promise that he made… I don’t know, maybe he woke up one morning and decided that it would be a good punchline, as far as the media is concerned, and now he’s stuck with it.”