Can Macron Save the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

Can Macron Save the Iran Nuclear Agreement? April 24, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron is in the United States meeting with Trump at the White House. He has been courting and flattering Trump in an attempt to gain some influence over him and is apparently here to convince Trump not to scrap the Iran nuclear agreement.

President Emmanuel Macron of France was scheduled to arrive at the White House on Monday on a mission to persuade President Trump not to scrap the multinational nuclear agreement with Iran, even as Tehran’s foreign minister warned that there was no alternative to the deal and “it is either all or nothing.”

Arriving in Washington just weeks before a May 12 deadline for Mr. Trump to keep or abandon the accord, Mr. Macron hoped to use his unusual bond with the American president to make the case that the world was safer with the deal in place. The French leader has promised to work with the United States and European partners to strengthen it.

Is the pact “a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran? No,” Mr. Macron said on “Fox News Sunday,” choosing Mr. Trump’s preferred channel to telegraph his message before his arrival on Monday. “But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option? I don’t see it. What is the what-if scenario or your plan B? I don’t have any plan B for nuclear against Iran.”

Mr. Macron hastened to add that he was “not satisfied” with the situation in Iran and would support modifications to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. “My point is to say, don’t leave now to JCPOA as long as you don’t have a better option for nuclear, and let’s complete it with ballistic missile and a regional containment,” Mr. Macron said.

This is all quite reasonable and thoughtful, which is why it has little chance of succeeding with Trump, who simply is not capable of being reasonable and thoughtful. And after Macron leaves, Trump will still be surrounded by people who want the Iran deal voided, especially John Bolton, who is just drooling over the possibility of attacking and invading Iran. War is the man’s fetish. It would not surprise me if he actually fondles himself while fantasizing about cruise missiles flying toward Teheran. Add Mike Pompeo to that list as well.

There are other voices for reason here, like Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly (who appears to be in the dog house and have no influence), but the replacement of Tillerson and McMaster, both of whom advocated for staying in the agreement and certified that Iran is in full compliance with its conditions, with warmongers like Bolton and Pompeo does not bode well.

And make no mistake about it, blowing up the Iran deal will be an absolute disaster. It will pull the Persian rug right out from beneath reform advocates and moderates in Iran, strengthen the hand of the anti-Western mullahs, lead Iran to restart its nuclear program (which will then be used as an excuse to attack them, quite possibly leading to a region-wide conflagration that will cost vast numbers of lives and virtually limitless amounts of money.

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