Macron urges Iran to be 'patient and responsible' in nuclear deal

Paris (AFP) –


French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday urged Iran to be "patient and responsible" after Tehran said it would surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that the US has abandoned.

"I regret Iran's announcements today... We strongly encourage Iran to behave in a way that is patient and responsible," Macron said in a press conference at the presidential palace in Paris alongside his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Iran said earlier it will surpass from June 27 the uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal, turning up the pressure after the US walked away from the landmark pact last year.

Iran's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that the move would be reversed "once other parties live up to their commitments."

To the dismay of Europe, President Donald Trump had unilaterally pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal last year, with Washington imposing tough sanctions on Iran.

Macron said that any kind of escalation in the nuclear standoff at the current time was in the interest of no-one.

"It is damaging to the interests of the Iranians themselves and also to the international community," he said.

"So we will do everything with our partners to dissuade Iran from this (surpassing the limit)," he said.

The United States has blamed Iran for last week's attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a charge Tehran has denied as "baseless".

Macron took a more circumspect line, saying that "only once all the information has been gathered and all the doubts lifted can the attributions (of blame) be made in a certain way."

"I think that in the period that we are entering into it is useful to show calm," he added.