Macron vows Iran will 'never' possess nuclear weapons

French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron participate in a state welcome at the White House in Washington DC

French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron participate in a state welcome at the White House in Washington DC

French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledges applause at the conclusion of his address to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol April 25, 2018 in Washington, DC.

But two of the president's key foreign policy advisers - new National Security Adviser John Bolton and his nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo - have both long opposed the agreement as contrary to American interests. The proposal that Macron put forward to his United States counterpart involves preserving the existing agreement on the first of "four pillars" of a future deal.

The president also praised Macron for his leadership. Western allies can not let nationalistic impulses take over and "undermine the liberal order we set after World War II". He added, "I've never been critical [of the JCPOA] because I think we can usefully add to it".

He called on the USA not to close the door to the world.

"But what I want to do, and what we decided together with your president, is that we can work on a more comprehensive deal addressing all of his concerns", he said.

"It is a critical moment".

He said the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation might not be able to fulfil their mandates and assure stability if the West ignored the new dangers arising in the world.

Mr Macron's speech came after a gushing greeting.

"I'm sure one day the USA will come back again to join the Paris agreement", Macron predicted.

"We have worked together for the universal ideals of liberty, tolerance, and equal rights", he added, hailing Congress as a "sanctuary of democracy".

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday delivered an impassioned call for multilateralism and United States engagement in the world, saying it was "an essential part of our confidence in the future".

Speaking of the tilt towards trade protectionism that Washington has been increasingly interested in, Macron defended globalization against nationalism. "Believe me, that is not our preferred option".

"So my commitment, my action is not to try to convince President Trump to walk away from his campaign's commitments or to change his mind", Macron said. "We're going to see what happens on the 12th".

China has made full preparation for the worst in the face of possible new round of restrictions imposed by the United States, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

"We wrote these rules". Le Parisien said ultimately "nothing budged" in the two president's disputes over the Middle East or climate change.

In his first year as France's president, Mr Macron has carefully cultivated as close a relationship to Mr Trump as any world leader can boast.

Mr Trump has branded the Iran deal "insane" and the "worst" in history. "It will not douse, but inflame, the fears of our citizens", he said.

The objective on Iran, he said, was clear that it shall never possess any nuclear weapons.

He called for respect for the sovereignty of Iran and its ancient civilisation, and urged the west not to "repeat past mistakes", an apparent reference to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The strikes' impact on the economy will be noticeable, say analysts, and the risk of them spreading to more sectors is the first big challenge facing Macron, who marks one year on the top job next month. "Let us not create new walls ourselves on the other side", Macron said.

"He is ideal", Trump added.

"We hope the USA side should do more things that go with the law of economic development and conform to the trend of world economic development, which will be truly conducive to the long-term stable development of itself and the global economy".

Macron later told French reporters he has no "inside information" on Trump's decision on the Iran deal but noted that it was clear the U.S. president "is not very much eager to defend it".

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