Biarritz, France – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise move to Trump world economic leaders.
Zarif's arrival at Biarritz appeared to be an initiative by French President Emmanuel Macron, a senior European official said, and other leaders were not informed ahead of time. There is no immediate plan for the Iranian foreign minister to meet anyone other than French officials, officials said.
[Trump told reporters.]
Zarif came to Biarritz on the invitation of his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi wrote on Twitter. The aim of the visit was "continue discussions on recent initiatives between the presidents of Iran and France," Mousavi said. He said there would be no meetings or negotiations with the U.S. Delegation during the trip.
Biarritz is a secretary in Biarritz.
White House officials have complained that they were trying to forcefully broker talks between the Trump Administration and Iran, which the US president has branded a "number one terrorist nation."
Trump pulled the United States from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May 201
Trump's "maximum pressure" approach against Iran is doomed to fail. They have sought to persuade the White House to change course and accept a new deal with the Iranians.
Iran's economy – and, recently, new sanctions and restrictions on Zarif.
The foreign ministers' presence in Biarritz – at the invitation of the French president
Even as Iranian forces have stepped up their aggression by seizing a number of tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, European leaders have sought to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal without the United States. Zarif's visit to the G-7
Previous discussions on Iran during the summit have shown little progress, as leaders could not agree on the terms of their talks.
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"I have not discussed that," Trump said. "We want to do our own outreach, but I can not stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk. "
Administration officials have criticized the French for talking to Iran.
When leaders discussed Iran over dinner on Saturday, they agreed that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons
Macron pushed Trump to allow Iran to export a limited amount of oil – a non-starter to the White House.
Zarif's sudden arrival at Biarritz took some of the other delegations by surprise, even those with France in his commitment to preserve the nuclear deal,
The official said it was not immediately clear why Zarif had been invited.
Because the Iranian diplomat is parachuting into an already packed weekend, it does not make any sense to jump-start US-Iran talks by putting Trump and Zarif in the same small city.
Trump and Zarif in the same small city. Trump would like to come back.
So, since Europe's strength on the Iran deal has ended, the official said, the unilateral move to call in Zarif may prove counterproductive.
Zarif was in Paris on Friday for discussions with Macron and other French officials. He had been scheduled to travel to Asia this weekend, according to his Twitter account.
His arrival in Biarritz appeared to take over the State Department by surprise, as well. A spokeswoman, noting the agency's absence from the summit,
Trump is traveling to Biarritz with national security adviser John Bolton, one of the administration's fiercest critics of Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Zarif criticized the Trump administration after it pulled out of the nuclear deal, and again after the administration announced it against the United States.
] "The US 'reason for designating me is that I at Iran's' primary spokesperson around the world'," he tweeted. "Is the truth really that painful? It has no effect on or outside of Iran. Thank you for considering me a huge threat to your agenda. "
Zarif has been meeting with other world leaders, including Macron, about the nuclear issue. He has tweeted pictures of himself shaking hands with top officials and sought to contrast his embrace of diplomacy with the Trump administration's unilateral pressure campaign.
"Despite US efforts to destroy diplomacy, met with French President @EmmanuelMacron and @JY_LeDriane in Paris today," the Iranian foreign minister tweeted Friday. "Interviewed with Euronews, AFP, & France24. Multilateralism must be preserved. Next stops Beijing, Tokyo & KL after a day in Tehran. "
He did not mention that he would be stopping in Biarritz.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that Trump might be willing to meet with Zarif.
"The President said that he would not be able to settle his sentence"
[read more] Josh Dawsey and Damian Paletta at Biarritz and Carol Morello at Washington contributed to this report.