Speaking during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House Tuesday morning, President Trump warned Iran against restarting their nuclear program should the United States back out of the 2013 nuclear agreement.
“It won’t be so easy for them [Iran] to restart it. They’re not going to be restarting anything," Trump said. "If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before. And you can mark it down. If they restart their nuclear program they will have bigger problems than they ever had before.”
Trump's comments come after Iranian leaders threatened to restart the nuclear program "within days" ahead of President Trump's May deadline on whether to re-certify or scrap the deal.
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization disclosed on Sunday that the Islamic Republic has maintained the ability to restart the full-scale enrichment of uranium—the key component in a nuclear weapon that was supposed to be removed from Iran as part of the nuclear agreement—in just four days.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's atomic work, claimed Iran could enrich uranium to 20 percent, which is more than enough to quickly reach the threshold to power a nuclear weapon, in just four days if the word is given by Iran's hardline ruling regime.
During Macron's visit, the two leaders will have serious discussions about the future of the Iran nuclear agreement and broader Iranian influence in the Middle East. Macron and other European leaders favor changing the terms, but not scrapping it altogether. President Trump has a different view and seems to have little faith the deal can be saved in the best interest of the United States or the west.
“We’ll see. People know my views on the Iran deal. It was a terrible deal. It should have never ever been made," Trump responded when asked by a pool reporter whether the U.S. will back out of the deal. “It’s insane. It’s ridiculous. It should never have been made. But we will be talking about it.”
"It just seems that no matter where you go especially in the Middle East, Iran is behind it, wherever there’s trouble, Yemen, Syria, no matter where you have it, Iran is behind it. And now unfortunately, Russia is getting more and more involved. But Iran seems behind everything where there’s a problem. And we just have to take a look," Trump continued. "We’re not going to allow certain things to happen that are happening. The Iran deal is a disaster. The’re testing missiles. What’s that all about?"
In addition to hosting Macron for most of the day, President Trump will meet privately with Defense Secretary James Mattis for lunch.