France's foreign minister declared on Wednesday that the Iran nuclear deal "is not dead," despite President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE's decision to pull the U.S. out of the pact.
"The deal is not dead. There’s an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there," Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio, according to Reuters.
He said that French President Emmanuel Macron would speak to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani about preserving the deal, before entering into high-level talks with Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran.
"The region deserves better than further destabilization provoked by American withdrawal," Le Drian said, according to Reuters. "So we want to adhere to it and see to it that Iran does too, that Iran behaves with restraint."
Le Drian's comments came a day after Trump declared that the U.S. would withdraw from the 2015 deal, which sought to forestall Iran's development of nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief on the Islamic republic.
Trump had long derided the pact, however, decrying its failure to address issues beyond Iran's nuclear program, such as its development of ballistic missiles and its support for groups deemed terrorist organizations by the U.S.
Trump moved in October to disavow the deal, but stopped short of pulling out completely. Instead, he demanded that negotiators patch up what he saw as holes in the pact. But on Tuesday he said that negotiations had failed to fix the deal, and announced his intent to withdraw.
Le Drian said on Wednesday that the deal could still be expanded to address other concerns about Iran's activities, but that the U.S. withdrawal created "a real risk of confrontation," according to Reuters.
“I hope it will not be a setback for peace," he said.