Gulf tensions: Iran says foreign minister Zarif to visit Macron in France

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 21 August 2019, 08:40 AM
Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently on a three-nation tour of Scandinavia and he will also visit China “next week.”
Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently on a three-nation tour of Scandinavia and he will also visit China “next week.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Paris and meet with his counterpart and the French president on Friday. “We will visit Paris on Friday to meet Emmanuel Macron and France’s foreign minister” Jean-Yves Le Drian, news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying.

Zarif is currently on a three-nation tour of Scandinavia and he will also visit China “next week.”

France is a partner to the 2015 nuclear deal and has led European efforts to salvage the landmark accord since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Earlier,  Trump accused France’s President Emmanuel Macron of getting in the way of US policy and sending “mixed signals” to Tehran. "Iran is in serious financial trouble. They want desperately to talk to the US, but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France,” Trump tweeted.

Iran’s top diplomat started his global tour with a visit to Kuwait on Saturday, followed by Finland and Sweden.

Norway and France are next on the agenda.

“America’s sanctions are not pressuring me,” Zarif added, dismissing concerns that US sanctions targeting him since late July would hamper his globetrotting diplomacy.

Last year Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran—and even slapped them on Zarif this week—in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.

Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.

First Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 08:40 AM

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