President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate Democrats warn Trump: Don’t invite Putin to G-7 Trump blames Fed for manufacturing slowdown Pence responds to Haley tweet: I’m looking forward to running with Trump in 2020 MORE said Monday he would be willing to meet with Iran under the “right” circumstances after French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronTrump praises Bolsonaro’s efforts to combat Amazon rainforest fires after Brazil rejects aid G-7 upshot: A few positive surprises, but a lot of disturbing divisions Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron before discussing Amazon fire aid MORE indicated he’s trying to arrange a meeting.
“If the circumstances were correct or right, I would certainly agree to that,” Trump said when asked whether he would agree to a meeting with the Iranians. “But in the meantime, they have to be good players.”
Trump was speaking at a news conference alongside Macron at the conclusion of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit, which Macron hosted this year in the French resort town of Biarritz.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif flew into the G-7 meeting Sunday after receiving a previously unannounced invitation from Macron, who is seeking to cool tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Zarif met with Macron and diplomats from France, Germany and Britain. Trump did not meet with Zarif, who the Trump administration has sanctioned.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate to meet yesterday,” Trump said Monday, adding Macron kept him in the loop of his invitation to Zarif. “Too soon. Things have to be worked out first.”
Europe has been trying to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which has been unraveling since Trump withdrew from the accord last year and reimposed harsh sanctions. Iran recently breached two key limits of the deal and has threatened to further ramp up its nuclear program if it does not get sanctions relief.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hinted Monday morning that he’d be willing to meet Trump, saying in a speech that “if I knew that I was going to have a meeting with someone that would [lead to] prosperity for my country and people’s problems would be resolved, I would not hesitate.”
Macron referenced those comments, saying he told Rouhani in a phone call that “if he would agree to a meeting with President Trump, that my conviction was that an agreement can be made.”
Macron added he hopes there will be a meeting “in the next few weeks.”
“At a given point in time there will have to be a meeting between the American and Iranian presidents, and I would wish that in the coming weeks such a meeting take place,” Macron said through a translator.
“I think there’s been a true change,” he added. “I want this meeting to happen, and I want there to be agreement between United States and Iran.”
Discussions have revolved around building a “new nuclear agreement” with Iran, Macron said. He cited Trump’s desire to extend the sunset provisions and have surveillance on more Iranian sites and Iran’s desire for economic compensation, but said he could not elaborate because that could “jeopardize” future talks.
Trump has consistently railed against the 2015 agreement, expressing particular opposition on Monday because he said the deal “expires.”
Several provisions of the agreement sunset, a fact cited by opponents of the deal, but Iran is still banned from having a nuclear weapon even after those provisions expire.
“That agreement was so short-term that it expires in a very short period of time,” Trump said. “With a country you don’t make deal that short. Countries last for long times.”
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