Yet Merkel used her public comments after her meeting with Trump to try to gloss over that disagreement, calling the Obama-era accord a "first step" toward curtailing and containing Iran's regional ambitions and suggesting openness to a side agreement. She signaled that the close relationship with the USA was changing.
But after a state visit to the USA this week, he admitted he had failed to secure any promise from Trump to keep the deal alive.
"It was actually a special favour from Trump to France to be able to plant the tree the day of the president's visit", the official said according to Reuters.
Macron's office said he and Putin "expressed their common will to preserve the gains from the agreement", which saw Iran agree to freeze its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. Trump signaled openness to the idea, without endorsing it explicitly.
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If the deal collapses, she went on, "there will be huge consequences because I don't think Iran will stay in the deal if the USA is going [to leave]".
An exemption to the steel tariffs is crucial for Germany, which exports far more finished steel products to the United States than any other European nation.
"The threatened tariffs remain a major burden on transatlantic relations", added Kempf.
Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Merkel and Macron were "trying to make the best of what is intrinsically an unpleasant and risky situation".
"They committed to continue working closely together and with the United States on how to tackle the range of challenges that Iran poses - including those issues that a new deal might cover", the statement said. They anticipate an indefinite and unquestioning dispensation from the USA tariffs.More news: Don't fight smear test cases, HSE is ordered
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