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U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran, says Donald Trump

President makes historic visit to meet Japan Emperor

May 27, 2019 10:19 pm | Updated 10:19 pm IST

President Donald Trump and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Monday.

President Donald Trump and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Monday.

The U.S. does not seek “regime change” in Iran, President Donald Trump said on Monday, also praising North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un in comments made during a historic visit to meet Japan’s new Emperor.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Trump seemed at pains to dial down tensions in the world’s two most pressing flashpoints as the U.S. faces off against Tehran and Pyongyang.

Iran “has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership. We’re not looking for regime change, I want to make that clear. We’re looking for no nuclear weapons,” said the President, who became the first foreign leader invited to meet freshly crowned Emperor Naruhito, with a state visit and banquet.

“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal. I think that’s very smart of them and I think there’s a possibility for that to happen also.”

Addressing another hot-button issue, Mr. Trump doubled down on his backing for Mr. Kim despite two short-range missile tests that sparked renewed concern in the region after a period of relative calm.

Asked about the missile tests, Mr. Trump said: “My people think it could have been a violation... I view it as a man who perhaps wants to get attention.”

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