EghtesadOnline: French President Emmanuel Macron said in a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday that Paris is ready to maximize its efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, particularly by working to accommodate Iran's demand for an end to the American economic war.
"The end of JCPOA would be an admission of collective failure and a regrettable move, so … JCPOA needs to be preserved to help de-escalate tensions," he said, using the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the agreement, Iran's presidential website reported.
The nuclear deal started to fray after the United States walked away from it last year and imposed several rounds of sanctions on Tehran.
Iran remained committed and waited for a year for the remaining parties to make up for the negative economic impacts of US restrictions, Financial Tribune reported.
As the signatories, particularly the European Union, failed to address Iran's core concerns during this period, Tehran announced its decision to take reciprocal action by gradually scaling back JCPOA commitments as per a paragraph of the deal, which allows such a measure once a party is deemed out of compliance.
Macron said the EU has always strongly opposed the US pullout and has sought to keep it alive with all its might.
"I admit that European measures to make up for the US sanctions have not been successful and efficient," he said, pledging to continue all-out efforts to meet this goal.
Need for End to All Sanctions
Rouhani said over the past 14 months, Iran has tried to save the deal by showing "strategic patience", despite the US sanctions and pressure against the Iranian nation that he described as a "terrorist move and a full-scale economic war" whose continuation could lead to other threats in the region and the world.
He stressed that Iran's nuclear measures have been taken within the framework of JCPOA and called on Europe to fulfill its duties under the international agreement and the related United Nations Security Council resolution, and work harder to salvage the deal.
"An end to all sanctions could be a beginning for a new development between Iran and 5+1," Rouhani said, referring to the five permanent members of the UNSC (France, Britain, Russia, China and the US), plus Germany.
Macron had earlier said he would try to convince US President Donald Trump to suspend some sanctions on Iran to allow for negotiations to de-escalate the crisis in the region.
"I want to convince Trump that it is in his interest to reopen a negotiation process [and] go back on certain sanctions to give negotiations a chance,” he had told reporters.
During the phone call, the two presidents agreed to seek conditions for a resumption of dialogue on the Iranian nuclear question by July 15, according to a statement by Macron's office.
The statement added Macron will keep on talking with Iranian authorities and other involved parties to "engage in a de-escalation of tensions related to Iranian nuclear issue", Reuters reported.
The European powers are seeking to pull Washington and Tehran back from direct confrontation and want to avoid escalating the diplomatic standoff in the United Nations.