Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has recently been sanctioned by the US, visited France Sunday to hold talks with the world leaders on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit, Reuters reported.
During his short visit Zarif met with the French President Emmanuel Macron, German and British officials.
Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.
Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying. pic.twitter.com/oXdACvt20T
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 25, 2019
Although the details of the meetings are not known, one French official told reporters that “the discussions that were held between the president and Zarif were positive and will continue.”
Macron also met with Zarif before the Summit on August 23. The two leaders reportedly discussed ways to defuse tensions between Iran and the US. The US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran last year and imposed new sanctions on Tehran.
Macron said that he and Zarif “agreed on a joint communication and a course of action which reconciles the different positions.”
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US discussed Iran, however, did not reach any conclusions. President Trump was reportedly surprised to see Zarif in Biarritz and no US officials met with him. When asked whether he knew about Zarif’s visit, Trump said he wasn’t and declined to comment on the issue, but noted that “Iran is no longer the same country as it was two and a half years ago.”
“We will do our own outreach but, you know, you can’t stop people from talking. If they want to talk they can talk,” Trump added.
When asked whether other world leaders were aware of the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit, one French official said that “it was all organized at a very short notice.”
“It all happened within a small window. Other countries were informed as soon as possible. It all happened in a matter of hours.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website