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The Debate

Macron's Iran initiative: French envoy in Tehran amid efforts to save nuclear deal

Could it be Macron to the rescue? The French president's top diplomatic advisor Emmanuel Bonne is making his second trip to Tehran on the trot. After the aborted air strike by the US off the Strait of Hormuz and the Iranians twice inching up nuclear enrichment above levels that exceed the 2015 nuclear deal, France's president has twice spoken with his Iranian counterpart on the phone, with the latest call on Sunday night. Macron has also been on the blower to Donald Trump in the past 24 hours.

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Can France's president succeed where mediators from Dubai, Oman and even Japan have so far failed? Is the timing right for Emmanuel Macron to make that long-delayed visit to Tehran? The Iranians have publicly singled out France for not doing more. We look at the long and conflicted history between the two nations dating all the way back to the days when Ayatollah Khomeini lived in exile here under the Shah.

We ask if the time is right for all sides to de-escalate. Despite a steady diet of bellicose rhetoric on both sides, could Donald Trump's decision to abort air strikes last month prove a turning point? Both sides are haunted by precedents that prove that even human error could have grave consequences in the region.

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Juliette LAURAIN and Ingri BERGO

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