Mr. Vice President,
Honorable members of the United States Congress,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor for France, for the French people, and for me, to be received in this sanctuary of democracy, where so much of the history of the United States has been written.
We are surrounded today with images, portraits and symbols, which remind us that France has participated – with heart in hand – in the story of this great nation. From the very beginning.
We have fought shoulder-to-shoulder many battles, starting with those that gave birth to the United States of America.
The terrorist threat is even more dangerous when it is combined with the nuclear proliferation threat. We must therefore be stricter than ever with countries seeking to acquire the nuclear bomb.
That is why France supports fully the United States in its efforts to bring Pyongyang, through sanctions and negotiations, towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
As for Iran, our objective is clear: Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons. Not now, not in 5 years, not in 10 years. Never.
But this policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East. We must ensure stability, and respect sovereignty of the nations, including that one of Iran, which represents a great civilization.
Let us not replicate past mistakes in the region. Let us not be naïve on one side. Let us not create new walls ourselves on the other side.
There is an existing framework – called the JCPOA - to control the nuclear activity of Iran. We signed it at the initiative of the United States. We signed it, both the United States and France. That is why we cannot say we should get rid of it like that. But it is true to say that this agreement may not address all concerns, very important concerns. This is true. But we should not abandon it without having something substantial, more substantial, instead. That is my position. That is why France will not leave the JCPOA, because we signed it.
Your President and your country will have to take, in the current days and weeks, their responsibilities regarding this issue.
What I want to do, and what we decided together with your President, is that we can work on a more comprehensive deal addressing all these concerns. That is why we have to work on this more comprehensive deal based – as discussed with President Trump yesterday – on four pillars: the substance of the existing agreement, especially if you decide to leave it, the post-2025 period, in order to be sure that we will never have any military nuclear activity for Iran, the containment of the military influence of the Iranian regime in the region, and the monitoring of ballistic activity.
I think these four pillars, the ones I addressed before the General Assembly of the United Nations last September, are the ones which cover the legitimate fears of the United States and our allies in the region.
I think we have to start working now on these four pillars to build this new, comprehensive framework and to be sure that, whatever the decision of the United States will be, we will not leave the floor to the absence of rules.
We will not leave the floor to these conflicts of power in the Middle East, we will not fuel ourselves in increasing tensions and potential war.
That is my position, and I think we can work together to build this comprehensive deal for the whole region, for our people, because I think it fairly addresses our concerns. That is my position.