Published: Sun, August 25, 2019

Iran's Zarif praises Macron nuclear crisis suggestions

Iran's Zarif praises Macron nuclear crisis suggestions

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted his United States counterpart Donald Trump for a previously unscheduled lunch Saturday ahead of the official opening of the G7 summit in southwest France.

Mr Zarif said he told Mr Macron that Iran was in favour of free shipping in the Gulf, "but this freedom should also be accorded to Iranian tankers nationally".

"We will continue talks".

An official in Macron's office said the meeting would take place around 1000 GMT, or 1200 local Paris time.

The report was published before today's meeting between the top Iranian diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif and the French President Emmanuel Macron on ways to salvage Iran nuclear deal.


The 2015 nuclear deal was seen as a landmark foreign policy achievement of US President Barack Obama and a key moment in ties between the US and Iran, after relations had been severed in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution that removed the pro-West Shah - who had himself been supported by a 1953 US-UK coup against Iran's then-prime minister.

Zarif also made it clear that it was possible to solve the issue even without the involvement of the U.S. in the nuclear deal.

The United States slapped sanctions on Zarif late last month in a bid to target any assets he has in America and squeeze his ability to function as a globe-trotting diplomat. As Donald Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of August, France is apparently going to get tax from the big tech companies that the U.S. president described as "macron stupidity". However, this alternative to the Washington-imposed sanctions has not yet come into operation and Iran has in response reduced its commitments to the JCPOA.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blasted the move to make the fires a topic for G-7 leaders without any participation by Brazil, saying that it reflected a "colonialist mentality".

European states have been scrambling to save a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord past year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its economy. "Contrast this to what is happening in Europe, where growth is effectively flat", one U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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