Iran deal hanging in the balance

At the end of his trip to the US, French President Macron expressed pessimism about the future of the Iran agreement. During his visit he had tried to explain to the US president how the deal could be extended - and ultimately maintained. France and the US are snubbing Tehran, some commentators criticise. Others stress that it will be difficult to renegotiate the agreement.

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La Libre Belgique (BE) /

Lost sense of European solidarity

La Libre Belgique is baffled by the talks between Macron and Trump:

“Imagine a tenant with a lease the terms of which change at the landlord's whim. Trump and Macron seem to find this perfectly normal and legitimate. Shortly before his meeting with Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump is busy showing him that an agreement reached with the US provides no guarantees. This is certainly not the best way to convince the North Korean leader to abandon his nuclear arsenal. As for Emmanuel Macron, there's no telling if the pomp and circumstance with which he was received at the White House went to his head to the point of making him lose his sense of European solidarity - or even of reality.”

The Independent (GB) /

No wonder Iran wants nuclear missiles

The case of North Korea shows that the US will only treat an antagonistic regime with respect if it poses a nuclear threat, The Independent observes:

“The important lesson Tehran may draw from recent trends is that it pays to get your hands on a nuke. For it is plain that the only reason why Donald Trump is suddenly compromising with North Korea is because North Korea has managed to develop nuclear weaponry that directly threatens the United States. If the Iranians possessed nuclear-tipped missiles, would the Americans be quite as willing to try to push them around, they will wonder. The central point about the JCPOA is that, flawed as it is, it slows Iran's nuclear progress.”

Orient XXI (FR) /

Paris has disappointed Tehran

The French president's behaviour is regrettable for Iran, Orient XXI points out:

“Iran is amazed that instead of using its influence to prompt its American ally to respect the deal and effectively lift the economic sanctions, France has taken the initiative, with the support of Britain and Germany, to demand that the EU impose new sanctions in the hope that that this will please Donald Trump. A national consensus reigns on these matters in Tehran. ... The population had hoped for a long-awaited economic and international opening and unanimously rejects the policy of using different standards where the oil monarchs and the West's allies are concerned.”

Der Standard (AT) /

The new deal will fail without Syria diplomacy

Renegotiating the Iran agreement won't be all that easy, Der Standard points out:

“French President Emmanuel Macron tried to sell something [to Donald Trump] that doesn't actually exist: a supplementary deal that will change the old deal into a 'new deal', as Trump put it. ... Macron knows that it's unrealistic to try to untie the complicated nuclear package. To keep it intact he is now counting on dealing with Iran's missile programme and policy of influencing Arab countries separately. For the latter, however, a comprehensive approach is needed: you can't talk about the Iranians in Syria without including Russia, Turkey and others like Saudi Arabia for instance. Macron already said right after the US, British and French airstrikes in Syria on April 1 that he wants to launch a new Syria diplomacy.”