Macron Heads to Washington With Iran Deal Hanging in the Balance

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron is cautious about his chances of convincing Donald Trump to stick with the Iran nuclear accord and doesn’t expect any breakthrough on his visit to the U.S. next week, his aides said.

The U.S. president’s advisers say he hasn’t taken a decision on the deal yet, the French officials said at a briefing in Paris. France, along with Germany and the U.K., will seek to give Trump guarantees that the deal can work, the officials said. Macron will offer to set out the European nations’ additional commitments in a side deal to the main accord, they said.

Macron lands in Washington Monday for a three-day state visit -- the first since Trump took office. The 40-year-old leader and his spouse Brigitte will stay at Blair House, the guest residence opposite the White House. The two leaders will discuss topics including ongoing issues with Iran, Syria, North Korea and Russia, as well as the U.S. moves on global trade, the agenda for the next Group of Seven meeting and the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the officials said.

Macron’s priorities are to keep the U.S. in the Iran accord and to convince Trump to extend a waiver for U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Still, his aides insisted that the visit’s success shouldn’t be measured by the French president’s ability to deliver on those goals.

Prep With Merkel

Macron will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Thursday to prepare for the talks and to agree a common position on the U.S. tariff threat. Merkel visits Washington on April 27.

Trump and Macron will dine together with their wives on two nights, first at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia on Monday and at a state dinner at the White House Tuesday. The French officials declined to comment on the guest list.

On Tuesday the presidents will hold a private meeting and then a broader discussion with more advisers. They will take questions from the media afterward. Macron and his wife will then head to a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and later on present U.S. veterans with medals for their military service in helping to free France during World War II.

Macron will give a 30-minute speech to Congress Wednesday and then meet students from George Washington University. He will end his visit with a press conference before flying back to Paris to speak at a conference on terrorist financing.

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