May 8, 2018 / 4:44 PM / 13 days ago

France's Macron says will keep working on broader Iran nuclear deal

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said that France regretted the United State’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and that he would work towards a broader agreement that also encompassed Iran’s ballistics programme and regional activities.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks down the White House colonnade as he arrives for the launch of first lady Melania Trump's "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The 2015 deal, worked out by the United States, France and four other international powers as well as Iran, eased sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear programme.

“France, Germany and the UK regret the U.S. decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake,” Macron said on Twitter moments after Trump spoke.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the accord and reinstate sanctions on Iran is a disappointment to Macron, who has sought to forge a close relationship with the U.S. leader and lobbied for the deal to be kept alive during a state visit last month.

Responding to Trump’s concerns that the 2015 agreement was too narrow, Macron said he wanted to push for a wider deal covering Iran’s ballistics programme and activities in the Middle East.

“We will work collectively on a broader framework, covering nuclear activity, the post-2025 period, ballistic activity, and stability in the Middle-East, notably Syria, Yemen, and Iraq,” Macron added.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Sybille de la Hamaide; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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