Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.
“I knew he was coming in and I respected the fact that he was coming in. And we’re looking to make Iran rich again, let them be rich, let them do well, if they want,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “Or they can be poor as can be. And I tell you what, I don’t think it’s acceptable the way they are being forced to live in Iran,”
Trump has said in the past that the U.S. is not interested in a Tehran regime change. He told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the U.S. is “looking for no nuclear weapons.”