US President Donald Trump warned Iran on Tuesday not to follow through with threats to restart its nuclear program, as he and French President Emmanuel Macron struggled to find common ground on saving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Weighing withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump declared that if the Iranians “restart their nuclear program, they will have bigger problems than they’ve ever had before.”
Trump issued his warning alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in the Oval Office, where the two allies were to discuss the multinational nuclear accord, the war in Syria and other issues during a day of meetings at the White House.
“You can mark it down, if they restart their nuclear program, they will have bigger problems than they’ve ever had before,” Trump repeated. “Iran will pay if it restarts nuclear program.”
Trump called the agreement a “terrible deal” that was “insane” and “ridiculous” because it did not deal with ballistic missiles or Iran’s activities in conflicts in places like Yemen or Syria.
“We made this terrible deal but we’re going to discuss it,” he said. Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions in return for relief from economic sanctions.
One of Macron’s main objectives during his three-day visit to Washington is to persuade Trump to stay in the deal. Trump remains publicly undecided but reminded his French counterpart of what he sees as flaws in the agreement.
Macron told reporters that he and Trump would look at the Iran deal “in a wider regional context,” taking into account the situation in Syria. “We have a common objective, we want to make sure there’s no escalation and no nuclear proliferation in the region. We now need to find the right path forward,” Macron said.
Trump suggested he was open to “doing something” on the Iran agreement as long as it was done “strongly.” He told Macron, “We could have at least an agreement among ourselves very quickly.” But when he was asked by reporters what that agreement would be, Trump said, “You’ll find out.”
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