France: Macron challenges Trump on Iran, disowns Weinstein

2017-10-16 11:06
French president Emmanuel Macron. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

French president Emmanuel Macron. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron challenged US President Donald Trump's hard-line stance on Iran, vowed to revoke Harvey Weinstein's Legion of Honour award and insisted on Sunday that "France is back" on the world arena.

But Macron's real problems lay at home.

And in his first national television interview since his election, the 39-year-old leader struggled to claw back public support for his "economic transformation" of a stagnant France and to shed his image as a president of the rich.

READ: World leaders slam 'aggressive' Trump's decision on Iran nuke deal

Though he came into the presidency little-prepared to lead a nuclear-armed country, Macron played on his international stature during his appearance on the TF1 network.

He suggested he helped persuade Trump not to "tear up" the international accord curbing Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for resumed trade.

Erratic leadership

Trump stopped short of pulling out of the deal in a speech on October 13, but accused Iran of violating it and held open the possibility of a US withdrawal.

"He wants to make things tougher with Iran... I explained to him that for me that is a bad method," Macron said.

"Look at the Korea situation. We broke off all negotiations with Korea. What is the result? A few years later we have a country that is about to have a nuclear weapon."

To drive home his support for the Iranian accord, the French leader pledged to visit Iran soon.

Asked if he was concerned that what critics see as Trump's erratic leadership is dangerous or worrying, Macron said "No."

"The US is our ally," Macron said, stressing the importance of military co-operation against Islamic extremists in Syria and beyond.

He defended the idea of multilateralism, instead of each country for itself, but he also insisted that France will not quietly bow to the US or other interests.

French accomplishments

Macron also pointed to French accomplishments since his election: The choice of Paris to host the 2024 Olympics and the victory of France's candidate to lead UN cultural agency Unesco.

"We're here. France is back," he said.

The president showed no sympathy for Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is facing a tsunami of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.

"I have started the steps to withdraw the Legion of Honour award" bestowed on Weinstein in 2012 for his work on Oscar-winning French film The Artist, Macron said.

He pledged new measures against sexual harassment, notably in public transport, and speeded-up procedures for investigating and prosecuting such acts to encourage more women to come forward when abused.

"The important thing is to talk. It's not the women who should be ashamed, it's the men," he said.

When it came to what matters most to the French - the economy and their jobs - Macron appeared both combative and defensive.

He refused to apologise for blunt language about workers in a struggling factory "screwing everything up" instead of looking for work.

"I wasn't trying to humiliate. ... I take full responsibility for what was said," he said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    emmanuel macron  |  us  |  france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.