Remarks by President Trump and President Macron of France before Bilateral Meeting (Excerpts)

June 6, 2019


Q     Mr. President, you two leaders have had differences over Iran in the past.  Do those differences remain?  And will you be talking about them today?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I don’t think we have differences over Iran.  I don’t think that the President wants to see nuclear weapons, and neither do I.  And that’s what it’s all about.  He doesn’t want to see them having nuclear weapons, and I don’t want to see them having nuclear weapons.  And they won’t have nuclear weapons.  With that being said, you know, let’s see what happens with Iran.

But when I became President — it’s hard to believe two and a half years ago; now more — Iran was a true state of terror.  They still are, but they were undisputed champions of terror, and that’s a bad thing.  And we had 14 different locations where they were fighting (inaudible), between Yemen and Syria, but many other locations and many other battle sites.

And it was all about Iran.  They were behind every one of them.  They’re not doing that anymore.  They’re doing very poorly as a nation.  They’re failing as a nation.  And I don’t want them to fail as a nation.  They can — we can turn that around very quickly.

But the sanctions have been extraordinary how powerful they’ve been, and other things.  I understand they want to talk.  And if they want to talk, that’s fine.  We’ll talk.  But the one thing that they can’t have is they can’t have nuclear weapons.  And I think the President of France would agree with that very strongly.  I think that he would agree that they cannot have nuclear weapons.

PRESIDENT MACRON:  I think we do share the same objectives on Iran.  What do we want to do?  First, you want to be sure they don’t get nuclear weapon.  I mean, we had an instrument until 2025.  We want to go further and have full certainty on the long run.  Second, we want to reduce ballistic activity.  And third, we want to contain the regional activity.

I mean, these three approaches — these three objectives are important.  We have, as well, a fourth common objective: peace in the region.  So, we have to deliver together these four objectives.

This a point.  This is a point.  And all the other debates are about technicalities.  In order to build that, you need to start a negotiation, and I think the words pronounced by President Trump is that they are very important.  We need to open a new negotiation in order to build and to get these four objectives.