Iran foreign minister makes surprise visit to G-7 summit

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Source: The Guardian

Visit comes during summit at which policy on Iran has been one of most contentious issues

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has made a surprise appearance in Biarritz meeting Emmanuel Macron, in the midst of a G7 summit where western policy towards Iran has been one of the most contentious issues.

On Sunday evening, Zarif posted a picture on Twitter of his meeting with the French president and the foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, reportedly in the office of the Biarritz mayor, across the road from a building where G7 leaders had been meeting. The Iranian foreign minister said he had also provided a briefing for British and German officials.

“Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying,” Zarif wrote, before flying out of Biarritz on Sunday evening.

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A senior French diplomat confirmed that Zarif had been invited to Biarritz for talks as part of Macron’s diplomatic initiative aimed at defusing tensions in the Gulf and reviving diplomacy with Iran. Zarif also met Macron in Paris on Friday.

“We have been trying for several months to defuse tensions and create a pause for useful negotiations,” the French diplomat said. He added that the French were not acting as mediators for the US, and it was not the intention “at this stage” to bring together the Iranians and Americans.

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