France's Macron to meet Iran foreign minister on eve of G7

Macron to meet Iranians before G7 to float ideas for defusing crisis

Macron to meet Iranians before G7 to float ideas for defusing crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that the U.S. and France agreed that their common goal was to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Zarif said the talks had been productive. Always a proponent of the JCPOA deal, he told reporters Wednesday that he will meet with Iranian officials before the G7 summit begins.

"If the USA president has other ideas on how we can achieve that (Iran not getting nuclear weapons), we are very happy to talk about it", the source said.

This year, Washington has been pushing European allies to help put "maximum pressure" on Iran - through sanctions and other means - to force Tehran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.

Trump's administration has abandoned that deal and stepped up sanctions on Iran. Tehran has denounced the new penalties as "economic warfare", and said that if its oil exports are cut to zero, global waterways will not have the same security as before.

In exchange, Iran would need to fully implement the 2015 nuclear deal, reduce tensions in the Gulf and open talks.

In a message to Europe, Zarif said that it was possible to solve the issue even without the involvement of the USA in the nuclear deal.

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The remarks sparked a backlash from the Elysee Palace, and the French government insisted it would continue its diplomatic efforts to ease tensions.

Zarif would visit China, Japan and Malaysia fresh on the heels of a tour of Western European nations, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said late Friday on the ministry's Telegram channel.

The 2015 nuclear deal was seen as a signature foreign policy achievement of president Barack Obama and a landmark moment in ties between United States and Iran, after relations were severed in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the pro-West Shah.

The G7 member states have imposed sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine. Russian Federation was temporarily suspended, then withdrew permanently, after annexing Crimea.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blasted the move to make the fires a topic for G-7 leaders without any participation by Brazil, saying that it reflected a "colonialist mentality".

But as Macron failed in his efforts to ease tensions between the West and Iran, relations with the USA president also struggled. The G7 meeting past year in Quebec, Canada, ended in disarray with the USA president accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of making "false statements" regarding a final communique, which the United States did not endorse. "Contrast this to what is happening in Europe, where growth is effectively flat", one U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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