Donald Trump Warns of ‘Big Problems’ if Iran Reboots Nuclear Effort

from The Wall Street Journal,

President meets his French counterpart, who has urged U.S. to remain in the 2015 deal.

President Donald Trump said Iran would have “big problems” if the country restarts its nuclear program, as he hosted French President Emmanuel Macron, who has pushed for the U.S. to remain in the nuclear pact and Tuesday floated the idea of an expanded deal. Sitting down with Mr. Macron at the White House, Mr. Trump called the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear “insane” and one that “should never have been made.” He warned: “If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before. And you can mark it down.” At a later news conference, Mr. Trump again used tough rhetoric against Tehran. “If Iran threatens us in any way, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid,” he said. “No matter the decision now that President Trump will take, I would like us to work as from now on a new deal,” Mr. Macron said at the news conference. He said any deal would address “four pillars,” including what is addressed in the 2015 accord—Iran’s current ability to produce a nuclear weapon—as well as Iran’s future ability to produce a weapon, its ballistic missiles and Iran’s regional influence. Mr. Macron appeared to suggest he was seeking to build on the 2015 deal, which he said addresses Iran’s nuclear activities until 2025. He said he hoped to seek with Mr. Trump and other countries on an arrangement that would address concerns not contained in the original accord.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS that his country could respond to U.S. moves by resuming its nuclear program, which it halted for years to come as part of the agreement, in exchange for economic benefits. “We have put a number of options for ourselves, and those options are ready,” Mr. Zarif said, “including options that would involve resuming at a much greater speed our nuclear activities.”

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