PRESIDENT TRUMP: [...] And I have to tell you — one other country — I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal. And I think that’s very smart of them. And I think that’s a possibility to happen also.
Q But in terms of criticism that you’re sort of supporting a dictator instead of an American Vice President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, when I look at what’s been done by our Vice President and the President, when I look at the horrible Iran deal that they made — look what happened since I terminated the Iran deal. Look what has happened to Iran.
Iran, when I first came into office, was a terror. They were fighting in many locations all over the Middle East. They were behind every single major attack, whether it was Syria, whether it was Yemen, whether it was individual smaller areas, whether it was taking away oil from people. They were involved with everything.
Now they’re pulling back because they’re got serious economic problems. We have massive — as you know, massive sanctions and other things. I mean, we just said the other day: steel, copper, different elements of what they used to sell. The oil is essentially dried up. And I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.” We have enough problems in this world right now with nuclear weapons. No nuclear weapons for Iran.
And I think we’ll make a deal. I think Iran — again, I think Iran has tremendous economic potential. And I look forward to letting them get back to the stage where they can show that. I think Iran — I know so many people from Iran. These are great people. It has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership. We’re not looking for regime change. I just want to make that clear. We’re looking for no nuclear weapons.
If you look at the deal that Biden and President Obama signed, they would have access — free access — to nuclear weapons, where they wouldn’t even be in violation, in just a very short period of time. What kind of a deal is that?
So we can’t have that. Plus, there were many other things they did that were very bad. So I don’t take sides as to who I’m in favor or who I’m not, but I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster. His administration, with President Obama, they were basically a disaster when it came to so many things, whether it was economy, whether it was military, defense. No matter what it was, they had a lot problems. So, I’m not a fan.
Q One question for the Prime Minister, sir. Do you share President Trump’s optimism about North Korea and his position about the recent missile launches?
And also, could you tell us — and perhaps tell us what you told the President — what you expect or would like to achieve if you travel to Iran and hold talks with Iran?
PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) What about Iran? There was a question about Iran.
Regarding Iran — regarding the JCPA, we have expressed our position at the appropriate timing. Peace and stability of Middle East is very important for Japan and the United States, and also for the international community as a whole. It’s very important.
In this context, in order to make contribution for the peace and stability of the region, we would like to discharge whatever we can do. So whatever it is possible for Japan to do, we absolutely would like to do this going forward. Between Japan and the United States, there should be close collaboration so that this tension surrounding Iran should be mitigated and alleviated, and it shouldn’t culminate in the armed conflict.
Thank you very much.