Zarif to Meet Macron on G7 Summit’s Eve in France

Wednesday, 21 August, 2019 - 14:00
London- Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Paris, on G7 summit’s eve, and meet with his counterpart and the French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting is expected to tackle the future of the nuclear deal and the current regional crisis, three months after Tehran announced reducing its commitments to the nuclear accord.

“We will visit Paris on Friday to meet Emmanuel Macron and France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian,” IRNA quoted Zarif as saying during a gathering of Iranians in Stockholm late Monday.

Zarif is currently on a three-nation tour of Scandinavia, and he will also visit China “next week”, according to IRNA.

He has launched a new diplomatic campaign in response to two proposals, one by the US and the other European, to create a maritime security mission to safeguard shipping and protect the security of navigation and other interests in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

These proposals were made after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British tanker, and a number of tankers were subjected to sabotage operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

France, along with Germany and Britain, has been trying to block Iran's path to reduce its nuclear obligations, starting from May.

They want to keep the deal active by operating Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a new mechanism for facilitating legitimate trade between European entities and Iran.

Iran has enriched uranium to 4.5 percent purity, above the 3.67 percent limit set by its deal with major powers, in violation of the deal.

Tehran also threatened to take further measures unless the remaining parties — Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia — help it circumvent US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.

Notably, Zarif has started his tour with a visit to Kuwait on Saturday and then to Finland and Sweden.

He is due to visit Norway on his first tour after the US imposed sanctions on him, calling him “the chief defender of the regime.”

“America's sanctions are not pressuring me,” AFP quoted Zarif as saying, dismissing concerns that US sanctions targeting him since late July would hamper his globetrotting diplomacy.

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