Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing (Excerpts)

August 19, 2020

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  Before I provide an update on our continued progress against the China virus, I’d like to discuss our latest actions against the Iranian regime.

Today, I’m directing the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to notify the U.N. Security Council that the United States intends to restore virtually all of the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran.  It’s a snapback; it’s not uncommon.

Two years ago, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which was a product of the Obama-Biden foreign policy failure — a failure like few people have seen, in terms of the amount of money we paid for absolutely nothing and a short-term deal.  This deal funneled tens of billions of dollars to Iran — $150 billion, to be exact — plus $1.8 billion in cash, which I don’t know that the President have the authority to give.  He gave $1.8 billion in cash.  Just another great deal.  That turned out to be a total disaster.  It would have funded all of the chaos and the bloodshed and the terror in the region and all throughout the world.

And I won’t say anything, because I don’t like saying it, but Iran doesn’t have so much money to give to the world anymore — to the terrorists, to give to al Qaeda and various other groups of people that they were funding.  They have to keep their own regime together, and it’s not easy for them.

And if and when I win the election, within the first month, Iran will come to us and they are going to be asking for a deal so quickly because they are doing very poorly.

But that deal was a disaster: 150 billion dollars; 1.8 billion dollars in cash.  And we got nothing, except a short-term, little deal.  A short-term, expiring.  It’s starting to expire already.  It’s terminated, but it would have, if we didn’t terminate it, start to expire very shortly.

A good deal was the deal we made with UAE and Israel.  And, by the way, other countries, I will tell you now, want to come into that deal.  Countries that you wouldn’t even believe want to come into that deal.  And, all of a sudden, you’re going to have peace in the Middle East, and you couldn’t have done it with this ridiculous Iran nuclear deal, as they call it, that President Obama made along with Sleepy Joe Biden.

I imposed the toughest-ever sanctions on Iran, and this has caused great difficulty for them giving money to terrorist organizations.  And if they do, they’ll have hell to pay.

Earlier this year, I ordered the strike that took out the world’s number one terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, in addition to previously terminating leader and founder of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the two leading terrorists by far in the world.  The founder of ISIS.  Nobody even talks about that.  And we also defeated — we now have 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate in Syria.  When I took over, it was a mess.  It was a total mess.  It was — they were all over the place.

My administration will not allow this Iran nuclear situation to go on.  They will never have a nuclear weapon.  Iran will never have — mark it down.  Mark it down: Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.  When the United States entered into the Iran deal, it was clear that the United States would always have the right to restore the U.N. sanctions that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  We paid a fortune for a failed concept and a failed policy — a policy that would have made it impossible to have peace in the Middle East.