EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Emmanuel Macron, France’s charismatic new leader, has adopted a proactive approach towards Iran that combines a moderate attitude with Sarkozy’s hard line. On the one hand, he supports the strict preservation of the 2015 nuclear agreement and opposes Trump’s ”fix or annul” view of the deal. He also supports tightened bilateral relations with Tehran. On the other hand, he has adopted a hard line, demanding the establishment of an international mechanism of inspection and sanctions on the Iranian ballistic missile program as well as a restriction on its destabilizing involvement in the region. Macron’s demands have started a war of words between Paris and Tehran that has the potential to escalate.
Emmanuel Macron’s presidency has been characterized, so far, by an ambitious promotion of bilateral relations and dialogue with as many states as possible – as well as a refusal to ignore bones of contention. His object is to promote France’s political status on the international scene and consequently its commerce and economy. He would also like to enhance his image as a mediator of international conflicts. His approach is on full view in his stance on Iran, particularly with regard to the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear project.