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Gulf Crisis: Macron, Rouhani hold talks over Iran-US tensions

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 31 July 2019, 08:42 AM
Macron had a “long” discussion with Rouhani during the French leader’s annual holiday at his summer retreat
Macron had a “long” discussion with Rouhani during the French leader’s annual holiday at his summer retreat

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday spoke with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and reiterated his call for a de-escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States, the Elysee said. “It is France’s role to make every effort to ensure that all parties agree to a break and open negotiations,” the French presidency said.

Macron had a “long” discussion with Rouhani during the French leader’s annual holiday at his summer retreat, the medieval fort of Bregancon on France’s Mediterranean coast, the Elysee said.

Macron “recalled the need to initiate a de-escalation of tensions,” it added.

Iran on Monday said the US is “not seeking dialogue.” Tehran claimed that Washington had rejected an offer from Iran for more robust nuclear inspections in exchange for lifting sanctions. “If the US is really seeking an agreement... Iran can make the additional protocol into law (in 2019) and (the US) at the same time bring a plan to the Congress and lift all illegal sanctions,” said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

“But as we predicted it was rejected by them, because we knew that they are not for talks or an agreement that would yield a proper result,” he told a news conference.

According to Mousavi, the proposal was made by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a visit this month in New York to dismiss the idea of “Iran being against talks... (while) America is for dialogue”.

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads ever since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US form the nuclear deal last year and reimposed biting sanctions on Iran.

Earlier, Donald Trump had imposed "hard-hitting" sanctions on Iran. Trump's move to impose fresh set of sanctions on Iran comes days after Tehran said it shot down an American drone in the region on Thursday. However, Trump denies the drone, valued at more than USD 100 million, violated Iranian airspace, saying he backed away from planned strikes after learning that 150 people would be killed in the military action.

Tensions have been escalating between the United States and Iran since Trump last year withdrew the US from a global nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said had also said, Tehran is ready to talk to the United States if sanctions imposed are lifted. "We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere," Rouhani said.

First Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 08:39 AM
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