Sat Jan 28, 2017 09:21PM
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the Mideast peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the Mideast peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

French President Francois Hollande says he has warned US President Donald Trump to respect Iran’s historic nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries.

This is the first official telephone conversation between the two since Trump took office, said a statement released by the French presidential office on Saturday. 

During his election campaign, Trump had threatened that he would “tear up” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or try to renegotiate its terms if elected president. He has also referred to the nuclear agreement as "the worst deal ever negotiated."

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany started implementing the JCPOA on January 16, 2016.

Hollande also warned Trump against taking a protectionist approach, which he noted may have a negative economic and political outcome. "In an unstable and uncertain world, turning inward would be a dead-end," he said.

He also reaffirmed France’s commitment to the UN and the NATO military alliance, both of which Trump has voiced skepticism over.

The French president also stressed that anti-Russia sanctions should only be removed after the conflict in Ukraine is ended.

The United States, the European Union and some other Western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia over accusations that Moscow has been involved in the crisis in Ukraine, which has killed nearly 10,000 people to date. The Kremlin strongly rejects the allegations.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (not seen) in the East Room of the White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

On Friday, Trump said that he was in the early stages of considering the removal of the anti-Russia sanctions as part of his campaign pledge towards bettering ties with Russia.

Hollande also told Trump that protecting democratic principles required observance with "the principles on which it is founded, in particular the acceptance of refugees".

Trump on Friday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

They also agreed to “continue with their discussions on essential issues."