Macron to meet Iranian officials ahead of G7 summit

French President says he will make proposals to Iran aimed at de-escalating tensions with US.

Elad Benari ,

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would meet Iranian officials ahead of this weekend’s G7 summit and make proposals aimed at de-escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, Reuters reported.

“In the coming hours before the G7 I will have meetings with the Iranians and propose ideas,” Macron was quoted as having told reporters.

Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May. He later imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect in November of 2018.

Iran, in turn, has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

The European signatories to the 2015 deal, which include France, did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the agreement and vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

The US and France recently had a back and forth after Trump accused Macron of meddling in the dispute.

“Iran is in serious financial trouble. They want desperately to talk to the U.S., but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France,” Trump tweeted two weeks ago.

“I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself. No one is authorized in any way, shape, or form, to represent us!” he added.

France later replied to Trump and said it "needs no permission" to work towards easing tensions between Iran and the US.

Leaders from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the EU will attend the Group of Seven meeting in the southwestern French resort of Biarritz.

“We have made proposals either for a softening of sanctions or a compensation mechanism to enable the Iranian people to live better,” Macron said on Wednesday, without giving more details.

The French President said that in return he would expect Iran to comply fully with the nuclear deal and for Iran to engage in new negotiations that would include its ballistic missile program and regional activities.

“We shall see what the response from the Iranians is in the hours ahead,” Macron said. “And we shall see how the Americans are ready to move forward.”