Published: Tue, August 27, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Anti-G7 Protesters March With 'Stolen' Portraits Of Emmanuel Macron

Anti-G7 Protesters March With 'Stolen' Portraits Of Emmanuel Macron

France is attempting to cool tensions in the Persian Gulf and get the United States and Iran back to the negotiating table after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif landed in Biarritz on Sunday in what many called a surprise visit during the G7 summit.

On Thursday, Pompeo said he personally heard the president raise the issue directly during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the summit.

Since ditching the deal a year ago, Trump has pursued a policy of "maximum pressure" to try to force Iran into broader talks to restrict Iran's ballistic missile program and end its support for proxy forces around the Middle East as well.

His visit comes just two days after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is the host of the Group of Seven gathering in Biarritz.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said Zarif would return to Tehran on Sunday before heading to China.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson will want to strike a balance between not alienating Britain's European allies and not irritating Trump and possibly jeopardizing future trade ties.

Johnson, who has said since he took office last month that he will take Britain out of the bloc on October 31 regardless of whether a deal can be reached, later retorted that it would be Tusk himself who would carry the mantle if Britain could not secure a new withdrawal agreement. The French peace plan reportedly involves the United States lifting its oil embargo on Iran, in exchange for Iran immediately returning to compliance with the 2015 deal, and coming to the negotiating table.

A European diplomat familiar with the discussions said the leaders had failed at the dinner to persuade Trump.

"We'll do our own outreach, but, you know, I can't stop people from talking".

"We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran", Reuters quoted Macron as saying.

Highlighting just how hard it will be to ease tensions, two Iranian officials and one diplomat told Reuters on Sunday that Iran wants to export a minimum of 700,000 barrels per day of its oil and ideally up to 1.5 million bpd if the West wants to negotiate with Tehran to save the nuclear deal.

Macron has said the summit would not end with a final statement, as he had little expectation that Trump would agree to anything about fighting climate change even as the issue shot to the top of the agenda with the widespread fires in the Amazon.

One of the Iranian officials also said Iran's ballistic missile programme was not open for negotiation. Russia, along with Britain, Germany and China, remains a part of the accord.

"It's unprecedented and given the context it's pretty audacious", said a French diplomatic source.

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