Background Briefing Previewing Acting Secretary Sullivan's Trip to the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Toronto (Excerpts)

April 22, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

MODERATOR: [Senior Administration Official] has got a couple of minutes just to give you a little background today.

QUESTION: Oh, terrific. Well, what’s on the agenda?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: What’s on the agenda? Well, the G-7 always has an ambitious agenda, and a comprehensive global agenda. And a lot of the priority topics for us today include discussing the way forward in Syria, the – Iran’s malign activities in the region as well as Iran’s nuclear and missile program. We’ll be discussing North Korea and its nuclear program. I would say, broadly, nonproliferation will be a thematic today in our discussions. We will be discussing maritime security, the importance of freedom of navigation.


QUESTION: As (inaudible) the topics, did you see Zarif’s comments the last two days on if the deal isn’t signed – this morning he was about – he was saying it was --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Which one, the supplemental agreement? When you say the deal isn’t --

QUESTION: He just said – I don’t know.

QUESTION: The original one. The original one.

QUESTION: The original deal.

QUESTION: If the U.S. --

QUESTION: The original one. If the original is abrogated, yeah.


QUESTION: Yeah, if the U.S. walks away from it, they are going to resume --

QUESTION: He said it would send a very dangerous message.

QUESTION: -- and he said they’re going to resume nuclear production.

QUESTION: Resuming is one of the options, is what he said.


QUESTION: But faster.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And so what’s the question? It’s all very interesting.

QUESTION: Does that change anything that you’re discussing today? I mean, are you – let’s – what kinds of discussions are you going to have on Iran with the rest of the G7? Specifically, do you want to close – can you close further gaps in your discussions so far?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We will be discussing the status of the negotiations with the E3 on securing a supplemental agreement to the JCPOA. The President has given until May 12th as the deadline to see if we can secure a supplemental agreement, and so we’ll be discussing the status of those negotiations today with the G7, and then we’ll also be – yeah, I’ll leave it at that.

QUESTION: How advanced are these?

MODERATOR: You all, you guys have to get on the vans. I don’t want you to be late. This will be the last one.

QUESTION: Those negotiations, how advanced are they?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We’ve been negotiating with the Europeans since January, with the E3, and we have made a great deal of progress, but it is – we’re not there yet.