French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in the United States on Monday. His three-day state visit is being seen by the international community as a test of his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump in the wake of the coming showdown regarding the Iranian nuclear deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On May 12, Trump will decide whether or not to renew U.S. sanctions relief for Iran, or if the U.S. will withdraw from the JCPOA by his refusal to do so. The renewal of the U.S. sanctions could have broader implications for the Iranian economy and businesses within the country.
In January 2018, Trump threw down the gauntlet to the European Union, calling for the flaws in the nuclear deal to be addressed and fixed, or he was removing the U.S. sanctions relief.
One of the key flaws is that the agreement does not address marginal activities of the regime, related to its funding of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding, cyber aggression, maritime aggression, human rights violations, and its destabilizing activities throughout the region.
Long-range missile development is also not addressed in the agreement, and has been a source of contention during the last few years, as Iran has continued to develop its missile program.
Macron’s visit is the first hosting of a state visit in Trump’s presidency. The major meetings will occur on Tuesday between the two presidents, before Macron addresses a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. With the May deadline looming, others in the international community hope that Macron can serve to persuade Trump not to jump ship entirely.
During interviews, Marcon acknowledged that there were flaws in the JCPOA, but he also flatly stated that there is no other option on the table. Protecting the deal is the only option at the moment, to give some checks and balances to the Iranian development of nuclear power and arms.
The United Nations has also weighed in on the JCPOA, acknowledging the need to preserve it.
“We hope that all of its participants remain fully committed to its implementation and long-term preservation,” said Izumi Nakamitsu, U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, during a U.N. nuclear non-proliferation conference.
With the sanctions being imposed on Iran again, it could accelerate the demise of the regime. Economic issues and the continued degrading of human rights by the mullahs’ fundamentalist regime have contributed to the continued protests and uprisings throughout Iran. The regime is threatened and the loss of the nuclear deal could spell disaster for the mullahs and their hold on Iran.