Macron warns of risk of war if Trump withdraws from Iran deal

BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that war could ensue if U.S. President Donald Trump withdraws from the 2015 deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

"We would open the Pandora's box. There could be war," Macron told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. But he added: "I don't think that Donald Trump wants war."

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French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump flicks a bit of dandruff off his jacket during their meeting in the Oval Office following the official arrival ceremony for Macron at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron depart their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hug during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron walk down the colonnade at the White House following the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron clasps hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump embrace during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 24: President Donald Trump wipes something off the jacket of President Emmanuel Macron of France during a meeting April 24, 2018 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
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Trump is set to decide by May 12 whether to pull out of the Iran deal. Trump has all but decided to withdraw but exactly how he will do so remains unclear, two White House officials and a source familiar with the administration's internal debate said on May 2.

Trump could still figure out a way to stay in the deal between the Islamic Republic and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Macron urged Trump not to withdraw when he met the president in Washington late last month.

Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the accord but, in an effort to keep Washington in it, want to open talks on Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 - when key provisions of the deal expire - and its role in Middle East crises such as Syria and Yemen.

(Writing by Paul Carrel Editing by Keith Weir) 

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