U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at the Iranian nuclear deal on Tuesday during a press conference at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron, calling the agreement “insane” and a “terrible deal,” while warning Iran against restarting its nuclear program if the U.S. pulls out.
“If they restart their nuclear program, they will have bigger problems than they have ever had before,” Trump said, without elaborating further.
For months, U.S. and European officials have been meeting to discuss ways to bolster the Iranian nuclear deal. In January, Trump vowed to pull out of the deal by mid-May, when he must decide to renew sanctions waivers on Iran if it does not address key issues like Iran’s ballistic-missile program.
Trump believes that he and the Macron were close to forging an agreement soon on the Iran deal.
“We could have at least an agreement among ourselves very quickly. I think we’re fairly close to understanding each other,” he said.
Macron, who came to Washington in part to help persuade Trump to stay in the nuclear deal, argued that it while it is imperfect, it remains the best chance to continue to constrain Tehran.
“On Iran, we must contextualize this subject within the challenges of the region,” said Macron. “There is the situation in Syria, there is security in the entire region, and I think, in any case, we share a common goal of avoiding an escalation and proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region. So the question is what the best path is.”