Iran’s Foreign Minister Arrives for G7 Side Talks

By Reuters
August 25, 2019 Updated: August 26, 2019

BIARRITZ, France—Iran’s foreign minister flew in for side talks at the G7 summit on Aug. 25 as host France ramped up efforts to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Zarif went straight into talks with his French counterpart to assess what conditions could lead to a de-escalation of tension between Tehran and Washington, a French official said.

Macron spent two hours with Trump over lunch on Aug. 24 and all seven leaders discussed Iran at length in the evening. The French official said the decision to invite Zarif was made after the dinner.

U.S. authorities earlier this month placed Zarif under U.S. sanctions.

“Zarif will convey the Iranian leadership’s response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal aimed at saving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters.

Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, saying it didn’t do enough to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon and that it also failed to address other grievances the United States has with the Islamic regime, such as ballistic missile development, support for terrorist groups and militias, threatening maritime shipping routes, and more.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Zarif would return to Tehran on Aug. 25 before heading to China.

By Marine Pennetier and Michel Rose

Epoch Times staff contributed to this article.