Iran's Zarif holds surprise talks with Macron at G7 summit

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DWS Staff
DWS Staff
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Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:55 pm

Iran's top diplomat has held talks with France's President Emmanuel Macron at the sidelines of the G7 summit following a surprise invite to the gathering.

Mohammad Javad Zarif landed on Sunday in the French seaside town of Biarritz, where leaders of the G7 nations - the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan - were meeting to discuss a host of issues, including global trade, climate change and Iran's nuclear programme.

Zarif immediately went into a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to Reuters news agency. He spent half an hour with Macron.

"Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues," Zarif said in a Twitter post afterwards. "Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.

Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDrian & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany.

Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying.

His plane departed moments after the whirlwind meeting ended.

An official in Macron's office told AFP the discussions were "positive".

Macron, the host of this year's G7 summit, has been leading efforts to defuse tensions triggered by US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an internationally-brokered deal that offered Iran relief from global sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

After the unilateral exit, Washington reimposed punishing sanctions on Iran, including on its oil and banking sectors.

Zarif did not meet Trump, who was also at the G7 meeting.

Surprise invite
Macron decided to invite the Iranian foreign minister to Biarritz after hosting a dinner of G7 leaders on Saturday night, a French official told AFP. The invite had been made "in agreement with the United States", the official added, contradicting a claim by the White House that Trump had not been informed of Zarif's arrival.

Macron had also hosted Zarif for talks in Paris on the eve of the summit on Friday.

The French president is urging Trump to offer some sort of relief to Iran, according to Reuters and AFP, such as lifting sanctions on oil sales to China and India, or a new credit line to enable exports. While the nuclear deal's remaining signatories - France, Germany, UK, China and Russia - oppose the US move, they have struggled to protect Iran from the US sanctions.

A French diplomat told reporters last week that a "pause" in Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran was necessary to get Iran back to the negotiating table.

DWS Staff
DWS Staff
Posts: 9283
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:39 pm

Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:55 am

Iran Foregin Minister warned that Tehran would further cut its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal unless European states acted to save the pact by Thursday, but that this did not mean the "end of talks", Iranian news agencies reported.
Zarif said late on Tuesday that President Hassan Rouhani would soon announce details of the cuts, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.

"Implementation of this step does not mean the end of talks," he added.
France has proposed offering Iran about $15bn in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with the deal.rench Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but approval from the United States would be crucial.

The idea is "to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) ... and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear programme)," Le Drian told reporters.

"All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers."

Le Drian added that there was still "lots to work out" and that negotiations were "still very fragile". ... 28910.html

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