French President Emmanuel Macron urged
U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to see that the
United States does not abandon the
international pact with Iran to restrain its
nuclear weapons development.
In a ringing address to both chambers of
Congress, Macron declared that Iran "shall
never possess nuclear weapons, not in five
years, not in 10 years, never."
The French leader did not mention U.S.
President Donald Trump's vocal opposition to
the 2015 deal as Trump weighs a decision
next month whether to reimpose economic
sanctions on Tehran.
President Emmanuel Macron reaches out to
U.S. President Donald Trump as he speaks
during their joint news conference at
the White House in Washington, April 24,
But Macron said, "We must ensure
stability" and not abrogate the accord,
pointedly saying that France "signed it at
the initiative of the United States," which
was negotiated by Trump's predecessor,
former President Barack Obama.
Macron, as he did in talks with Trump on
Tuesday at the White House, called for
negotiations for a new agreement with Iran
over Tehran's ballistic missile tests and
military involvement in Syria, Yemen,
Lebanon and Iraq. But Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday rejected the
idea of a new deal or any changes in the
nuclear pact reached after lengthy
negotiations with Britain, Germany, Russia,
China, France and the United States.
Trump has continued to assail the Iran
nuclear deal as "insane" and "ridiculous"
and made no commitment to stick with the
nuclear pact as he approaches a May 12
deadline for a decision on new sanctions.
Trump stands alone among the signatories to
the Iran deal in opposing it.
European Union foreign policy chief
Federica Mogherini said Wednesday it needs
to be preserved.
Macron gave a robust defense of
multilateral agreements among nations and
said Europe and the United States must face
the "new threats and challenges" of the 21st
French President Emmanuel Macron
addresses a joint session of Congress at
the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April
"We can choose isolationism, but it will
not stop the evolution of the world," he
said. He said Western allies cannot let
nationalistic impulses take over and
"undermine the liberal order we set after
World War II. It is a critical moment."
He won his loudest cheers from some
lawmakers when he said that decisions
affecting climate change must be "based on
science," a rebuke to some conservatives who
say they are not sure whether people have
contributed to climate change. "There is no
planet "B", he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron greets
members of Congress after a joint
meeting of Congress in the House chamber
of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April
Trump has announced his intention to
withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate change
pact, saying it would hurt U.S. business
But Macron predicted, "I'm sure one day
the U.S. will come back again to join the
Wednesday is Macron's final day in a
three-day trip to Washington, in what has
been a whirlwind of official talks and
social events, the first state visit by a
foreign leader during Trump's 15-month
President Donald Trump, first lady
Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel
Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron,
pose for photographs as they arrive for
a State Dinner at the White House in
Washington, April 24, 2018.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted
a lavish state dinner Tuesday for Macron and
his wife, Brigitte Macron, and more than 100
guests, including numerous Trump
administration officials and leading U.S.