Can Macron's White House visit save the Iran deal?


One top priority for Macron will be making the case for the United States to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.

The idea will be tested Monday when the young French leader begins a state visit in Washington, and European diplomats have a lot invested in what seems a tricky task.There is not much time.

The serious business kicks in Tuesday with meetings at the White House followed by a state dinner, and on Wednesday the centrist leader will demonstrate his English-language skills - a rarity for a French president - in an address to a joint session of Congress.

French officials say they've been briefed by their White House counterparts that Trump still hasn't decided whether he'll stick with the Iran nuclear deal.

An overall declaration and three sub-texts are to outline their joint understanding that other global conventions will prohibit Iran from developing nuclear weapons beyond restrictions that expire in the next decade, push the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency to expand its monitoring and promise strict sanctions if Iran moves forward with intercontinental ballistic missile development.

"So that's a question we will discuss", he said, as he prepared to head to Washington.The West can not unilaterally reopen the text, and Iran has said the deal is final and warned it is ready to relaunch its nuclear program - which the West alleges is created to produce an atomic bomb - if it fails.

"I don't have any Plan B for nuclear - against Iran", Macron told the "Fox News Sunday" television talkshow before heading to Washington, arguing that curbing Tehran's missile program and containing its regional influence could be accomplished in addition to the 2015 accord.

If he feels the "flaws" in the 2015 deal have not been adequately repaired, he may decide to withdraw his support, opening the way for renewed USA sanctions that could torpedo the whole accord.

The Syria strikes, the upcoming summit with North Korea and Trump's recent changes to his national security team are three of the strongest points in Europe's favor, said Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state under President Barack Obama who led the US negotiating team on the Iran deal.

"I will be very blunt".

"Whether we will actually solve, or come to closure, or a full detailed agreement on some of the issues that we've touched on is hard to say at this remove", a senior administration official told reporters on Friday. He also expressed optimism that Trump in the coming days will exempt European countries from the global tariffs he intends to impose on aluminum and steel.

In the coming days, representatives from the three European countries hope to finalize written agreements on inspections, missiles and regional aggression that they and USA officials can present to Trump as ways of bolstering the protections of the Iran deal without renegotiating it. Macron will present his host with an oak tree from a forest where United States troops fought to defend France during World War I.

He said he and Trump "have a very special relationship because both of us are probably the maverick of the systems on both sides".

Trump himself told Macron their "friendship" was "unbreakable" during his trip to Paris last July.

"And a very friendly moment", he added.