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Marine Le Pen, still from FR3

Marine Le Pen bashes Trump for pull-out of Iran deal

Marine Le Pen France’s National Front leader, strongly condemned US President Donald Trump for withdrawing from a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran on May 8, calling the US pull-out a threat to global peace.

Published: May 12, 2018, 11:18 am

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    “By withdrawing from the 5 + 1 agreement, the United States, once again, broke their promise and destabilized – for a second time in less than a month – an already precarious regional balance.”

    Le Pen said President Emmanuel Macron bears some responsibility for his “illusions” that he had the ability to talk US President Trump out of withdrawing from the pivotal 2015 deal with Tehran.

    “He [Macron] finally refused to go to Tehran to defend the national interests [of France] and to listen to the position of the regime. He was only interested in the American-Israeli-Saudi axis.”

    She trashed France’s misguided foreign policy with regard to the United States in a statement released on Friday, because it was “putting French citizens at risk and is depriving the French economy of very lucrative markets”.

    “I resolutely condemn the position of Donald Trump and also that of the French diplomacy which, in its attempts to be even more neo-Conservative than [US national security adviser] John Bolton, has found itself without US patronage and no alternative way to go,” Le Pen said in the statement.

    “France needs real world politics and rid itself of the neo-Conservative ideology, which has led to such destructive consequences [in the Middle and Near East] and finally to start defending the interests of France,” she added.

    According to Le Pen, cooperation with Iran, Russia and Syria against Islamic terrorism is of prime importance to prevent new terrorist attacks on French soil.

    “Secondly, we should establish a post of a defense commissioner [in relations with Iran] and thirdly, we need to work out and implement a mechanism of bank payments that would help us resist the US diktat and protect bilateral exchanges [with Iran], Le Pen explained.

    Similar to the harsh sanctions in 2012 against Iran, the US has an “entire arsenal of means to prevent [foreign companies] from maintaining any trade relations with Tehran. Such diktat is impermissible and can’t be tolerated.” Le Pen noted.

    A number of French enterprises, including Total, Renault, and Sanofi, are based in Iran and could, therefore, be affected by the US measures. A diplomatic source in Brussels told Sputnik News that the United States could use extraterritorial sanctions to target European companies that do business with Iran.

    Le Pen also argued that the American withdrawal weakened Israel’s security. “The Iranian military nuclear program would be relaunched: what would the region and firstly Tel Aviv gain from it? A chain reaction would ensue, notably with the Gulf, which would, in turn, embark on a nuclear arms race with unpredictable effects for all international relations.”

    Le Pen concluded that the American move was basically senseless: “Finally, because it [the US withdrawal] destabilizes the international economy without changing the political system in place.”

    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), resulted in a peaceful nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Britain, France and Germany have urged the signatories to the JCPOA to abide by its provisions.

    Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the remaining participants in the agreement must work to “enable the preservation of this important document for regional stability”. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has pledged to continue implementing the terms of the accord.

    Lavrov described the US withdrawal as a violation of a key resolution by the US Security Council. On Thursday, Lavrov called for dialogue between Israel and Iran following Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria that marked a sharp escalation.

    “This is a very disturbing trend. We proceed from the fact that all issues should be solved through dialogue,” Lavrov said at a press conference.

    Chinese businessman Sheng Kuan Li told Al Masdar News that he never worried about sanctions when he decided in 2010 to invest $200 million in a steel mill in Iran. With no operations in the United States, Li was not concerned about being targeted by the US Treasury.

    To be able to continue to purchase Iranian oil while sanctions were in place, China had established the Bank of Kunlun. But the US imposed sanctions on Bank of Kunlun soon after, invoking its domestic laws against the bank, and violating norms governing the sovereign equality of nations.

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    • Werner van der Merwe

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