Leaders met in Brégançon, talks centered on the nuclear deal and US sanctions and tensions; Rouhani accuses Trump Administration of “economic terrorism”; Macron calls for de-escalation of tensions with the USA.

French President Emmanuel Macron met with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Fort de Brégançon on Tuesday as part of efforts to salvage the nuclear deal, as well as discuss tensions between Iran with the United States.

Rouhani referred to President Trump’s sanctions targeting Iran’s missile and nuclear programs as “economic terrorism,” a gradation from the terminology typically used by the Islamic Republic, that of “economic war.” Macron reiterated France’s commitment to the nuclear deal, specifically addressing its role “to make every effort to ensure that all parties agree to a break and open negotiations.” Macron again called for “de-escalation of tensions,” with no mention of Iran’s violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, nuclear deal).

The Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia in May 2018. It has since placed several rounds of stringent sanctions on Iran. The United States has been clear that Iran must curb its nuclear and missile programs, as well as its efforts through its proxies in the region, to alleviate sanctions. According to reports from the Washington Post Tuesday, the Trump Administration is set to again waive five nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, as suggested by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Highly purified enriched uranium can be used to create a nuclear weapon, and heavy water can be used for nuclear reactors. Iran continues to claim its nuclear research and progress are for scientific research, while simultaneously building up its missile program and openly threatening Israel and the United States. It also falsely maintains the advances in its missile program are solely for defense purposes.