President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a private meeting Thursday that didn’t offer a timetable for U.N. approval of a U.A.E. nuclear-weapons deal.
Trump, however, indicated the agreement could be ready before he leaves office, even though the president’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, recently told Congress that the president doesn’t want to rush a nuclear deal through Congress.
Trump’s comments came after Pence told reporters at the White House that a deal could be in place by the end of the year.
Trump has not yet publicly acknowledged any such deal.
The two sides have met privately twice since the start of the week to discuss how to proceed, according to three people familiar with the talks.
The administration has said the agreement, which would reduce U.s. stockpiles of nuclear weapons and allow Iran to continue its nuclear program without crippling sanctions, is contingent on Iran’s willingness to limit its enrichment program.
It has said it would allow the U.n.
Security Council to take additional steps to ensure the deal is in place.
Pence and Trump have met with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May this week, the White Day event that commemorates Britain’s entry into the European Union.
Pence has also met with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The White House has been silent about the talks and has declined to say whether the president would veto any of the agreement’s measures, or even if he is considering it.
The Trump administration has expressed little interest in holding a nuclear-arms-control summit.
That’s partly because Trump has been reluctant to go to Congress, where he is unlikely to be the subject of a formal disapproval vote.
Instead, he has focused on the nuclear deal with Iran, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama.
While the president has repeatedly insisted that the deal has been the “worst deal ever negotiated” and called it “the worst deal ever signed,” Trump has also said that the administration has the authority to veto any U.r.n.-backed measures.
The U.k. and the European countries are likely to be most worried about any measures that could undermine the accord, particularly measures that would increase the number of U.nuclear-weapons-capable missiles that can be sent to Iran, including new missiles that could be deployed in Turkey.
The Obama administration has threatened to cut off all U. supply of Iranian nuclear-related technology, but Trump has expressed no such intentions.
The pact has drawn criticism from other nations as well, including Israel, which has said that it will not sign it.
Trump is due to leave office Jan. 20, but he is expected to continue his administration, which is expected continue to seek U.U.S.-Iran nuclear cooperation.
The new U.R.N.-backed deal was finalized last month and approved by the Security Council in July.
Trump also signed the landmark Iran nuclear deal, but it was not implemented as the accord was finalized.
The United States and Iran reached a deal in February to limit Iran’s nuclear-bomb program, but the agreement was not formally ratified until November.
The president is expected soon to deliver a major speech on his nuclear-relations agenda that will outline what he says will be a more constructive approach to the nuclear issue.
But Trump has repeatedly said that he is open to a negotiated deal, and he has suggested that he might be willing to sign it if he could have the U