French President Emmanuel Macron told President Trump on Tuesday that he wanted to work on a “new deal” with Iran, opening a pathway to address Iran’s nuclear ambitions without ripping up the current agreement.
The Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, which Mr. Trump repeatedly threatened to nix and Mr. Macron wants to preserve, is one of the biggest points of disagreement between the two presidents.
“We wish to now to work on a new deal with Iran,” Mr. Macron said at a joint press conference with Mr. Trump.
The French president said his earlier discussions with Mr. Trump “pave the way for a new agreement.”
It was unclear which of the men had modified his stance, although they appeared to agree on the urgent need to crack down on Iran beyond the nuclear deal.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly called the Iran nuclear deal a “bad deal” that he wants to get rid of. He has set May 12 as the deadline for a decision on the future of the deal.
“Nobody knows what I’ll do on the 12th,” said Mr. Trump, adding that maybe Mr. Macron knows.
Mr. Trump affirmed his commitment to stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons and warned Iranian leaders that they would encounter “big problems” if they begin building nuclear bombs.
He also demanded that Iran end its support of terrorism.
Mr. Trump said that where you go in Middle East, you see the “fingerprints” of Iran’s disruptive actions.
Mr. Macron said he wanted to keep the current nuclear deal, which halts Iran’s nuclear activity until 2025, but add restrictions that permanently stop development of nuclear weapons, end ballistic missile tests and contain Iran’s destructive influence in the region.
Mr. Trump is hosting Mr. Macron in the administration’s first state visit.