Macron said afterwards that Paris and Washington share the same objectives concerning Iran, while Trump said that the two nations had “[no] differences over Iran”.
This is despite the fact that while the US has pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, citing Iran’s cheating, and reimposed sanctions, France, along with the UK and Germany has remained in the deal and even designed a financial mechanism to help Iran evade US sanctions on trade and banking. (Although, we should note that this appears conditional on Iran agreeing to financial transparency laws.)
Macron clarified that France and the United States want to reduce Iran’s ballistic missile programme, contain Tehran’s regional ambitions, and restore peace in the region, with the debates on the best way to do this being only “technicalities”.
Trump said that he and Macron agreed that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and reiterated his offer to negotiate with Iran, something he believes Iran wants and that he is prepared for. This is despite the fact that earlier this year, Iran announced that it would be reneging on some of its nuclear deal commitments.
Trump advised that two years ago Iran was a terrorist state, behind atrocities across the Middle East, but that Iran is “not doing that anymore”.
He said: “[Iran is] failing as a nation. I don’t want them to fail as a nation. I understand they want to talk and if they want to talk that’s fine we’ll talk.”
These talks may well be facilitated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will hold talks with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei next week on a three-day visit to Tehran.
There are, of course, some problems with that. For one, even getting the Regime to re-open negotiations is unlikely, but it is near impossible to imagine that this would cause a change in behaviour. After all, the Regime sees behavioural change as the same as surrender.
Another problem is the assessment that Iran is no longer a terrorist state, at a time when its continued involvement in various conflicts across the Middle East to bolster terrorist groups, dictators, and ultimately the Iranian Regime is killing hundreds of thousands of people. Iran is most definitely still a terrorist state and will be so until the mullahs are removed from office by the people.