Rouhani to Macron: Europe has 'limited opportunity' to save Iran deal

Rouhani to Macron: Europe has 'limited opportunity' to save Iran deal
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Wednesday that Europe has a "very limited opportunity" to save the Iran nuclear deal.

"Under the current conditions, Europe has a very limited opportunity to preserve the nuclear deal, and must, as quickly as possible, clarify its position and specify and announce its intentions with regard to its obligations," Rouhani reportedly told Macron, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

A translation of the ISNA story was posted by Reuters


Rouhani also told Macron that Iran's rights under the 2015 nuclear deal — particularly those related to oil sales, banking and investment — must be "guaranteed," ISNA reported.

Rouhani's comments to Macron came a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE declared that he would pull the U.S. out of the pact, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Trump has repeatedly railed against the deal, saying that it failed to adequately curb Iran's nuclear activity, while still allowing Tehran to proceed with other destabilizing activities, such as its support for groups deemed terrorist organizations by Washington.

According to ISNA and Reuters, Rouhani insisted in his call with Macron that Iran never violated the terms of the deal, and had only enriched uranium for scientific and medical purposes — not to develop nuclear weapons. 

"Despite what Trump thinks, enrichment in Iran has never been for obtaining a nuclear weapon but instead has been for scientific and technical pursuits," he reportedly said.

Trump's decision was swiftly denounced by officials in Iran, who accused the U.S. of reneging on its commitments. 

European leaders, including Macron, have said  they will work to preserve the deal in spite of the U.S. withdrawal, casting it as the only way to block Tehran's path to a nuclear arsenal.