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Iranian Foreign Minister arrives at G7 summit to meet with leaders except Trump

August 25, 2019

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif, landed on Sunday at the airport in the French town of Biarritz to hold meetings with the leaders of the G7 except with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, as confirmed by the Government of the Islamic Republic

A spokesman for the Ministry has confirmed that Zarif has been invited to the meeting by his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Zarif will meet with various group leaders in the vicinity of the summit but will not hold any direct meetings with the president of the United States or the president's delegation.

Iran and the United States are going through a moment of extraordinary diplomatic tension after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed with Iran in 2015 and restored the previously suspended sanctions thanks to a pact that brought the Islamic Republic back to international markets.

Since then, both countries have starred in numerous episodes of friction, such as the demolition of an American drone last June allegedly on Iran's airspace.

France is now acting as Iran's great European interlocutor, to the point that Zarif held a dialogue with French President Emmanuel Macron last Friday on the current state of relations and the implementation of a joint trade mechanism to protect to the Iranian economy, weakened after the restoration of sanctions.

In fact, Macron has received this Sunday the “informal” mandate from all G7 countries except the United States to continue to perform its liaison function. Trump has denied on Sunday that he has granted any mandate to Macron, but he has not objected to the contacts.

Sources of the Elysium had explained that the leaders of the group had approved that Macron continue to exercise as an interlocutor since the two priorities remain to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons and to calm tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

“As president of the G7, the president has received permission to discuss and send a message to the Iranian authorities on the basis of the exchanges we had last night,” Elíseo sources told Reuters.