French President Emmanuel Macron called a possible US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran a “very insane” move.
Macron told German newspaper Der Spiegel on Friday that US President Donald Trump's threats to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) "can work in the short term but it’s very insane in the medium to long term.”
He warned that Trump’s annulment of the JCPOA “would mean opening Pandora's box, it could mean war."
"I do not believe that Donald Trump wants war," Macron added.
“My view — I do not know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” the French president pointed out.
Macron made a strong push for the US to remain in the deal during his visit last month to the United States, but told reporters afterward that he thought Trump would decide to exit the deal.
“My view — I don’t know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” Macron said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015, and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against it.
Trump has described the deal, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.
The US president has threatened to pull out of the JCPOA unless Congress and America's European allies help “fix” it by May 12.
Iranian officials, however, have repeatedly stressed that the accord is non-negotiable and dismissed the possibility of continuing with the agreement solely with America's European allies.
If the Trump administration were to leave, "it means that there is no deal left," Iranian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad told CNN on Wednesday.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and all other signatories to the JCPOA have warned against efforts to scrap the landmark accord.
Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that her country would deem any changes to the deal to be unacceptable.
He said Moscow will continue to honor its commitments under the JCPOA as long as other countries abide by their obligations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also told reporters at a regular news conference on Wednesday that all sides should continue to uphold the nuclear agreement.
The Hill and Press TV contributed to this story.