French President Emmanuel Macron. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCOIS MORI
French President Emmanuel Macron. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCOIS MORI

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called for the "necessary respect" of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the French leader to change the landmark accord.

A statement from the Elysee said Macron "remembers the importance of preserving the Iran nuclear deal and the necessary respect by all parties of their engagements regarding the accord".

Macron and Netanyahu spoke by phone on Saturday after US President Donald Trump demanded that European partners work with Washington to "fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the US will withdraw".

In his conversation with Macron, the Israeli premier said that "Trump’s remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it", a statement from Netanyahu’s office read.

Netanyahu also told Macron the free world should "strongly condemn the five crimes of the Iranian regime", listing "efforts to obtain nuclear weapons... developing ballistic missiles... supporting terror... regional aggression" and "the cruel repression of Iranian citizens".

On Thursday, Macron told Trump that it was important for all signatories to respect the Iran nuclear agreement.

Tehran has rejected the notion of any modification of the 2015 nuclear deal, and has the backing of all of the partners to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the EU — apart from the US.

Israel says Iran is dedicated to its destruction and supports global terror, in addition to backing Palestinian Islamic militants Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah.

The Jewish state is also concerned that the nuclear deal — which it opposed — would not prevent Iran from eventually having nuclear weapons.