French President Emmanuel Macron announced separate meetings with US President Donald Trump and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani as he seeks to defuse tensions between US and Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “I had an informal meeting with Trump this morning. I will see Rouhani this evening and Trump again tomorrow (Tuesday),” Macron told reporters.
“France is trying to put together proposals to avoid an escalation,” Reuters quotes Macron as saying to reporters at United Nations General Assembly.
Recently, an attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14 spiked tensions between both the countries with US and Saudi Arabia blaming Iran.
Last year, the relations between Washington and Tehran soared after US President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran, negotiated under former president Barack Obama.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron had said the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities had created a “new context” on the prospects of direct talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US counterpart Donald Trump. “There are still lots of things to sort out before we can see how to create the conditions for the United States and Iran to enter into a negotiation,” said a French presidential official.
Britain, France and Germany seek to preserve the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal and protect shipping in the Gulf. The European powers see the deal as the best way to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
During the G7 summit, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif flew to Biarritz in southern France in an unexpected and dramatic attempt to break a diplomatic deadlock over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.
The French presidency had described talks at the G7 summit between French leaders and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as “positive” and said the discussions, which also included Germany and Britain, would continue.