France's Macron: US risks pushing Iran to build nukes

French President Emmanuel Macron, seen here addressing Dubai's Chamber of Commerce on November 9, warns that US attacks on the Iran nuclear deal could force Tehran to move ahead with its nuclear weapons program

US pressure to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal could push Tehran into deciding to build its own nuclear weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron warned in an interview published Thursday.

"If you want to stop any relation with Iran regarding nuclear activity, you will create a new North Korea," Macron told Time magazine.

"If you stop the 2015 agreement, what's your other option? To launch war? To attack Iran? I think it would be crazy in the region," he said.

Macron called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in July 2015 between Iran and six powers, including France and the United States, "the best possible deal regarding Iran."

But US President Donald Trump has labelled the agreement too lenient on Iran and accuses the country of violating it, calling for a renegotiation.

If the US abrogates the JPCOA, Macron said, it will backfire.

"Because it's exactly what we experienced with North Korea. And suddenly you will wake up in ten to twelve years time without any control, but (Iran) having the nuclear weapon."

Macron said he wants Washington to join an effort to force Iran to stop supplying ballistic missiles to its allies in the region, pointing to the missile launched at Saudi Arabia last week by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

"So we should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region."

Macron also explained why Trump was not invited to the Paris climate summit in December.

"I made it very clear from the very beginning that there is no renegotiation of the Paris Agreement," the 2015 global pact to fight climate change agreed by president Barack Obama but rejected by Trump.

"Because he cannot renegotiate with more than one hundred eighty or 190 countries," Macron said.

"We are definitely making the reforms too slowly," Macron noted. "It's very important to deliver the message and to show the strong evidence of the fact that Paris Agreement is still active."

If Trump offers a new climate initiative that would go further than the existing one, Macron said, "I would be very happy."

"But I just say what is unacceptable is to deliver speeches without any deeds and any reality."