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Trump Finds Unlikely Ally In Bid To Solve Iran Problem

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference during his visit at the future site of the sailing for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Marseille, France, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier/Pool - RC12D8294DB0French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference during his visit at the future site of the sailing for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Marseille, France, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier/Pool - RC12D8294DB0

French President Emanuel Macron believes the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal is not stringent enough to contain the threat that Iran poses, and offered to mediate talks between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. Wednesday.

Macron reiterated his support for the nuclear deal itself but demonstrated a long-held Trump administration belief that the nuclear deal did little to curb Iran’s ballistic missile ambitions or terrorism support in the Middle East. The Trump administration is increasingly signaling that it may decertify the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the deal to Congress in the October reporting period.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that the U.S. has “significant issues with the agreement” Wednesday night, adding “it’s pretty difficult to say that the expectations of the parties who negotiated this agreement have been met.”

Macron, however, made it clear that he believes the U.S. should certify Iranian technical compliance with the nuclear deal and that any effort to curtail the regime’s behavior should come through an additional addendum. Iran does not believe that any further negotiations on the matter are necessary.

Tillerson brushed off the regime’s supposed hardline stance, saying “as a longtime negotiator, I learned to never say never … it always gets the darkest before you might have a breakthrough.”

Trump may use decertification of the nuclear deal to the U.S. Congress as leverage to induce the regime to come to the negotiating table. Decertification of the deal would trigger a two-month period of review by Congress and a possible effort by the Trump administration to convince other parties to the nuclear agreement to try and impose further restrictions on Iran.

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Saagar Enjeti
the authorSaagar Enjeti
National Security/Foreign Policy Reporter

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