Israel is not alone in its concern over the Biden Administration’s determination to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump pulled the US out of over Tehran’s repeated violations.
It’s not that France opposes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). After all, it was one of the signatories, along with the over permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the European Union. But, like Israel, French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured) now sees the deal as flawed. In particular, he believes it was a “mistake” to sideline Middle East allies while negotiating the original deal.
“Negotiations with Iran will be very strict and it will be necessary to include our partners in the region in the nuclear agreement, including Saudi Arabia,” Macron said at the weekend in an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya TV.
Israel strongly objected to being left out of the JCPOA back in 2015 when US President Joe Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama, was pushing the deal through. Now that Israel is more firmly aligned with the Gulf states, and in light of France’s general agreement that these countries be included in the proceedings, it will be harder for the current White House to conclude a deal with which they disagree.
Of course, it won’t be so simple to just invite Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others to the table. Iran insists that the JCPOA cannot be altered in any way, and that the US and the other Western powers must return to the agreement in its original form, in addition to immediately lifting all sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“The nuclear accord is a multilateral international agreement ratified by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which is non-negotiable and parties to it are clear and unchangeable,” replied Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.
He further cautioned Macron and any others who share his assessment to “exercise restraint and refrain from hasty and ill-considered positions.”
For his part, Macron stressed that whatever’s going to be done must be done soon since “the time remaining to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is very short.”