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He says what others want to hear: Top Iranian official blasts Macron for kowtowing to Trump

He says what others want to hear: Top Iranian official blasts Macron for kowtowing to Trump
French President Emmanuel Macron, who downplayed Europe’s differences with the US over Donald Trump’s Iran policies when meeting the US leader face to face, showed a lack of integrity, the speaker of the Iranian parliament said.

President Macron’s remarks during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Thursday in Caen, France were “amateurish and a source of regret,” the Iranian speaker, Ali Larijani, told fellow lawmakers during a session on Sunday.

What Macron tells his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, during meetings and phone calls is not consistent with what he told Trump. “It seems that Macron’s comments are based on what is liked by the person he meets,” the speaker said.

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The senior Iranian official’s anger was sparked by Macron’s failure to confront Trump on Washington’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The French president lobbied Trump to not do it during a visit to the US last year, but did not succeed.

The disagreement between the US and its European allies, which want the deal to be preserved, was carefully avoided by Macron and Trump during their meeting this week, with both leaders agreeing that France and the US have “the same objective on Iran” – to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“All the other debates are about technicalities,” Macron said.

The nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), relieved economic pressure on Iran in exchange for accepting restrictions on its nuclear industry, which were meant to prevent Tehran from breaking out and obtaining a nuclear device. Iran insists it never had plans to produce nuclear weapons and stuck to the agreement even after the US pulled out and started imposing sanctions, contrary to the terms of the deal.

Iran and the European signatories are currently locked in a debate over the Europeans’ failure to establish a financial mechanism that would allow companies to conduct business in Iran while circumventing the threat of sanctions by Washington. Tehran started partially withdrawing from the JCPOA to put pressure on the Europeans.

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The Iranian government wants to see progress in this regard if the JCPOA is to be saved, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif reiterated on Sunday.

“We need results. The Europeans say they have done whatever in their power but no result has been achieved yet. We can do the same and do our best without yielding any tangible result,” he told reporters.

Next Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will visit Iran on a three-country Middle East tour to discuss the situation. Germany is one of the signatories of the deal along with Britain, France, and the EU.

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