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28 Apr, 2018 23:25

French envoy to Israel warns of possible war with Iran if Trump kills nuclear deal

French envoy to Israel warns of possible war with Iran if Trump kills nuclear deal

A potential US walkout from the Iran nuclear deal may bring the region to the brink of a war, French Ambassador to Israel Hélène Le Gal said. She believes that Tehran would “immediately” revive its alleged nuclear weapons program.

Speaking to Ynetnews on Saturday, Le Gal warned of “huge consequences” if US President Donald Trump follows through on his pre-election pledge and pulls the US out the UN-sponsored JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which he has long bemoaned as the "worst deal" ever negotiated.

She argued that as soon as Washington exits the seven-party agreement, it will become defunct, as Iran will follow suit. “I don’t think Iran will stay in the deal if the US is going [to leave],” she said.

“The possibility of war exists,” she warned. “If the nuclear deal is cancelled, Iran will immediately restart this [nuclear] program. We need the JCPOA to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons.”

The warning comes just days after French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his commitment to the deal during his three-day trip to Washington, but touted a framework for more constraints to put on Iran after 2025, when the JCPOA is set to expire. Along with Iran's already smothered nuclear program, Macron seeks to stifle its ballistic missile development and restrict its influence in the region, including in Syria and Yemen.

At the end of his visit to the US, Macron admitted that his efforts to persuade Trump to stay in the landmark agreement, which got Iran to all but abandon its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, did not bring much fruit. Trump, according to Macron, is on course to quit the deal, as ending it was a pre-election commitment he could not back out of.

Trump himself boasted that he opened Macron’s eyes on Iran, claiming that the French President “is viewing Iran a lot differently than he did before he walked into the Oval Office.”

Trump set a May 12 deadline, pressuring his European allies to come up with proposals on how to amend the deal. If the US president does not renew the sanctions waiver, it will effectively become null and void.

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