Iran’s foreign minister has insisted that there is no place for French President Emmanuel Macron in any Iranian-Gulf dialogue. Mohammad Javad Zarif told official Iranian TV yesterday that France was not forced to be a member in the nuclear deal negotiations, although it is “natural for Macron to have concerns” about some of the terms of the agreement.
“Iran calls for a dialogue between the eight regional countries involved [the Gulf States, Iran, and Iraq],” explained Zarif. However, he stressed that Tehran will not negotiate regional affairs with “western countries,” referring to France.
Macron said last Thursday that France would support a new US-Iran dialogue over the nuclear deal. “We need to finalise new negotiations with Iran,” he told the Washington-based Atlantic Council, adding that the talks should include Saudi Arabia and Israel.
This is the second time that Macron has called for expanding the negotiation circle over Iran’s nuclear programme. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal was abandoned unilaterally by the US in 2018. New US President Joe Biden, though, has said that Washington would re-engage if Iran returns to “strict” compliance with the accord.