US-Iran Talks: Lot To Sort Before Starting Negotiations, Says France

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 20 September 2019, 07:32 AM
French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to defuse the standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme
French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to defuse the standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is seeking to defuse the standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme on Thursday 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 who asked not to be named.

Macron will meet Trump in New York and may also meet Rouhani, so long as the Iranian president’s visa issues are ironed out, said the official.

Earlier, United States had said it is confident that it will be able to determine who was behind the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities. “Indications are that Iran was behind the strikes but the United States will let Saudi Arabia announce who was responsible. As of this time, all indications we have are that Iran is in some way responsible for the attack on the Saudi oil refineries,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

Donald Trump also had said it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. However, Trump ruled out any military retaliation for now to the strike against a key US Mideast ally.

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.

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: Friday, September 20, 2019 07:26 AM
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