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PARIS, French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone on Sunday and agreed to work together in coming weeks to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Elysee said in a statement.

In a conversation lasting more than an hour, Macron also proposed that the discussions be broadened to cover three additional, indispensable subjects, his office said, citing Tehran's ballistic missile programs, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 and the main regional crises in the Middle East.

The United States has been trying to drum up support for new sanctions against Iran, and has repeatedly threatened to tear up the 2015 agreement.

Macron, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, came to Washington last week in hopes of persuading President Donald Trump not to reimpose sanctions on Iran before a May 12 deadline and imperil the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Under the accord, Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for relief from U.S. and other economic sanctions. The deal � struck by Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States � under Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

Trump on Jan 12 gave the three European nations an ultimatum to "fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal" or he would refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran. Key U.S. sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them.

Trump sees three defects in the agreement: a failure to address Iran's ballistic missile program; the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and "sunset" clauses under which key limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire.

At a news conference with Trump on Tuesday, Macron said he wanted "to work on a new deal with Iran" to limit Iran's nuclear program in the short term and long term, restrain its ballistic missile activities, and curb what the West sees as its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East.

Those were the issues that Macron's office on Sunday reiterated that the French president wants to work on with Iran's president.


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