Trump warns Iran on nuclear programme

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump
Image: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

US President Donald Trump warned Iran yesterday not to follow through with threats to restart its nuclear programme, as he and French President Emmanuel Macron struggled to find common ground to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Meeting Macron in the Oval Office after a colourful welcome ceremony in honour of the French leader, Trump heaped scorn on the nuclear accord negotiated by his predecessor, former president Barack Obama, and aimed at stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran has said it will ramp up its nuclear programme if the deal collapses and a senior Iranian official said yesterday that Teheran might quit a treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons if Trump scrapped the agreement.

“If they restart their nuclear programme, they will have bigger problems than they have ever had before,” Trump said.

He called the agreement a “terrible deal” that was “insane” and “ridiculous” because it did not deal with ballistic missiles or Iran’s activities in conflicts in places like Yemen or Syria.
“We made this terrible deal but we’re going to discuss it,” he said.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Teheran says its nuclear programme is only for peaceful means.

Macron came to Washington hoping to persuade Trump to keep the US in the Iran agreement, saying it offered the best chance to constrain Teheran, imperfect as it might be.

He told Trump the accord was part of a broader picture of security in region.