French President Emmanuel Macron will address both the House and Senate on Wednesday, the first time a foreign leader has spoken before a joint session of Congress in nearly two years.
Macron is expected to address his country’s relationship with the U.S. and make the case for keeping the current Iranian nuclear agreement with the goal of negotiating a broader deal in the coming months.
Watch Macron’s speech at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday in the video player above.
The last joint address of Congress by another head of state was in June 2016, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with then-President Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump called the Iran agreement “insane,” “ridiculous,” and a “terrible deal” for not better managing Iran’s ballistic missiles or its actions in countries such as Yemen or Syria. “We made this terrible deal but we’re going to discuss it,” he told reporters Tuesday during Macron’s three-day visit to Washington.
The deadline to reauthorize the Iran deal is May 12, and Trump has not indicated what he will do.
Macron told reporters that the current Iran agreement is not “sufficient,” but it enables the international community to limit Iran’s nuclear activities until 2025.
“We should not tear apart the [current Iran deal] and have nothing else,” he said.
Macron said a later deal on Iran, worked out in the coming months, should include longer-term limits on Iran’s processing of uranium, putting an end to ballistic missile activities and shaping a political solution to contain Iran’s activities in the region.
Any new agreement must involve the regional powers, along with Russia and Turkey, he added.
On Syria — another area on which the leaders differ — Macron said Tuesday that the international community must set up a political solution that ensures Syria is a sovereign country with people who can decide their own future. Trump has said he wants to bring U.S. troops home from Syria, but added Tuesday that “we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint,” raising more questions about what a timeline for withdrawal will look like.
Read analysis of his speech.