Zarif in G7 Venue: No Talks with US on Agenda
By Staff, Agencies
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the French city of Biarritz where a meeting of the seven top economic powers of the world, known as G7, is going on to discuss with French officials the recent initiatives offered by the two countries’ presidents.
The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi, said in a tweet on Sunday that Zarif landed in the French city at the official invitation of his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to continue consultations on the recent initiatives proposed by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
“There will be no talks with the American delegation [to the G7 summit] in this trip,” Mousavi said.
A French presidency official was quoted by Reuters as saying that Zarif is in talks with his French counterpart on the sidelines of a G7 summit to discuss what conditions would de-escalate tensions between Washington and Tehran.
"Zarif came to Paris on Friday with Iranian propositions which obviously must be refined," the French official said, adding, "Yesterday there was a substantial discussion between G7 leaders and it is important to now update Zarif in order to keep closing the gap...on the conditions with which we could de-escalate the tensions and create breathing space for negotiations."
The unnamed French official also emphasized that no discussions have been planned between Iranian and American officials at this stage.
Later on Sunday, Zarif took to his official Twitter page, saying that he had met with Macron as “Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.”
Earlier on Sunday, Macron said G7 leaders had agreed joint action on Iran to defuse tensions and open a new round of negotiation with Tehran.
"We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran," Macron told LCI television, adding, “There is a message from the G7 on our objectives and the fact that we share them is important, which avoids divisions that in the end weaken everybody."
Zarif met with the French president on Friday after a tour of Scandinavian countries after which he said he had "constructive" negotiations with Macron on ways to salvage an international nuclear deal signed between Iran and then P5+1 countries back in 2015.
"France has offered proposals to Iran about ways to implement the JCPOA [the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and steps that the sides are required to take [to save the deal]," Zarif said.
He added that Iran has also presented proposals so that the JCPOA would be implemented completely.