French President Emmanuel Macron attends a news conference at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy, January 11, 2018, REUTERS/Max RossiMAX ROSSI

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron told US counterpart Donald Trump Thursday that it is important for all signatories to respect the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, the French leader’s office said.

Macron, during a phone call with Trump, stressed France’s determination to see “the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it,” the Elysee Palace said of the 2015 accord.

President Trump, who openly despises the deal, is soon to decide whether or not to renew sanctions against Tehran.

The White House said Trump had “underscored that Iran must stop its destabilizing activity in the region.”

On Friday, Trump is expected to announce that he continues to regard remaining in the Iran nuclear deal not to be in US interests.

He first announced this in October and under the US Iran Nuclear Agreement Act (INARA) of 2015 he is supposed to inform Congress every 90 days.

One of the criticisms levelled at the nuclear deal is that it does nothing to address Iran’s continuing ballistic missile programme and meddling in Middle East conflicts such as Yemen and Syria.

The French presidency stressed that the nuclear deal must be accompanied by reinforced dialogue with Tehran on both issues.

Macron also brought up the issues of North Korea, following his recent visit to China, saying that the recent resumption of contact with South Korea is “a positive signal,” his office said.

The White House statement said that the two leaders “committed to continue to apply pressure on North Korea until it returns to the path of denuclearization.”

It added that Trump and Macron were to meet, schedules permitting, at the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month. --AFP

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