President issued his warning alongside French Emmanuel Macron in the Oval Office.
DARLENE S. | KEN THOMAS
Washington, US.- Weighing U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, President Donald Trump declared on Tuesday 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 discussed the multinational nuclear agreement, the war in Syria and trade issues during a day of meetings at the White House.
Speaking at a joint news conference Tuesday, Trump appeared to be more in line with Macron’s push for a longer-term U.S. presence in Syria. Trump, who announced weeks ago that he would withdraw American troops, said Macron reinforced the idea of a potential Iranian takeover of territory liberated from the Islamic State group.
“We’ll be coming home,” Trump said, “but we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint.”
Macron told Trump that together the U.S. and France would defeat terrorism, curtail weapons of mass destruction in North Korea and Iran and act together on behalf of the planet, a reference to Macron’s work to revive a U.S. role in the Paris climate accord.
As for Iran, Trump was asked by reporters if he might be willing to stay in the Iran agreement. He replied, “People know my views on the Iran deal. ... It’s insane, it’s ridiculous. It should have never been made.”
One of Macron’s main objectives during his three-day visit to Washington is to persuade Trump to stay in the accord, which is aimed at restricting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Trump, skeptical of the pact’s effectiveness, has been eager to pull out as a May 12 deadline nears.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the Trump administration that pulling out would undermine America’s talks with North Korea by proving the U.S. reneges on its promises.
He told The Associated Press in an interview that if Trump withdraws, Iran would “most likely” abandon the deal as well.