April 24 (UPI) — President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday addressed their differing viewpoints toward the Iran nuclear deal.
The pair discussed several issues during the joint news conference at the White House.
Trump said both the United States and France agreed Iran must end its support of “terrorism” — adding, “no matter where you go in the Middle East, you see the fingerprints of Iran.”
Macron said “it’s not a mystery” Trump has a differing view about the Iran deal, and noted it’s Trump’s decision whether or not to keep the United States in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“We, therefore, wish from now on to work on a new deal with Iran,” the French president added. “France is not naive when it comes to Iran, but we also have a lot of respect for the Iranian people.”
When asked whether he’d changed his mind on keeping the original deal, Macron said he wanted to add issues he termed the “first pillar.”
“I’m not saying we’re moving from one deal to another,” Macron said. “We can add to it.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal and threatened to withdraw the United States from the pact if what he views as problems aren’t fixed by May 12.
On Syria, Macron said he hoped Trump and other world leaders will help find a solution to the ongoing civil war.
Trump said he would like to get U.S. troops back home, but didn’t want to open up the region to further Iranian influence.
“We want to come home,” Trump said. “But we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint.”
Calling Macron a “great friend,” Trump also thanked him for his leadership in the effort to conduct military strikes on Syria two weeks ago.
The U.S. president added that a “campaign of maximum pressure” against North Korea will continue in upcoming talks.
“We will not make the mistake of past administrations,” Trump said, adding that he hasn’t made any concessions to North Korea.
Macron arrived in Washington Monday, accompanied by French first lady Brigitte Macron.
The Trump administration’s first state visit started with a visit to Mount Vernon Monday, where Trump, first lady Melania Trump and the Macrons had a private dinner and visited the grave of former President George Washington.
Earlier Monday, the four planted a tree gifted by the Macrons on the South Lawn of the White House.
Wednesday, Macron is set to address a joint session of Congress.