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WorldG7: Trump says he was given heads up on Iranian diplomat's visit

11:45  26 august  2019
11:45  26 august  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister at G 7 was premature for the US delegation, Donald Trump has said amid reports that he was ‘blindsided’ by the top diplomat ’ s surprise appearance at On Sunday, Zarif paid an unannounced visit to Biarriz, France, where the G 7 summit was taking place, holding a

Trump said Sunday he had not discussed a joint approach to Iran . French officials insisted a consensus had been reached among leaders Saturday night. Because the Iranian diplomat was parachuting into an already packed weekend, it was unclear what his presence would accomplish

BIARRITZ, France – President Donald Trump said Monday that French President Emmanuel Macron notified him in advance that a top Iranian diplomat would be invited to the G-7 summit of rich nations in southwest France.

G7: Trump says he was given heads up on Iranian diplomat's visit© Andrew Harnik, AP President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, left, participate in a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s surprise arrival on Sunday, the second day of the three-day summit, came at the invitation of France amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

But Trump said Zarif’s appearance wasn’t a surprise to him. Trump said Macron told him he had extended the invitation and asked for his approval.

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Trump said he also supported Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe' s outreach on Iran . If they want to talk, they can talk," he added. Top Iran ' s diplomat visits Biarritz. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced that Zarif was invited by his French counterpart to

Iran ’ s Foreign Ministry spokesman says the Islamic Republic’ s top diplomat has landed at the French city hosting the G - 7 leaders’ summit, though he won’t be negotiating nor meeting with US officials while there. Abbas Mousavi writes on Twitter that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had

“I knew everything he was doing,” Trump said of Macron.

Zarif did not meet with Trump or other U.S. officials while he was in France, but he did meet with Macron. “I thought it was too soon to meet," Trump said. "I said I don’t want to meet right now.”'

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Asked what happens next, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens. It’s all very new.”

Trump said he is not looking for regime change in Iran.

“We’re looking to make Iran rich again,” he said. “Let them do well, if they want. Or they can be poor as can be. ... I don’t think it’s acceptable the way they’re being forced to live.”

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The Iranian top diplomat did not hold talks with US President Donald Trump in the French surf town Robert Malley, head of the International Crisis Group, a think-tank, said that it was a sign that "Maybe President Trump told President Macron privately that he was open to some of these ideas

“ Iran ’ s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues,” he wrote on Twitter. The foreign minister’ s visit came a day after Iranian media reported that the government has imposed sanctions on the Foundation for Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Iran ’ s Top Diplomat .

France and other members of the G-7 are seeking to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement signed by President Barack Obama. Honoring a campaign pledge, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement last year. Though he touts that move on the campaign trail, Trump’s decision represented a major break with other U.S. allies.

Late Sunday, Zarif tweeted photos of himself meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the G-7.

"Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues," he wrote. "Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: G7: Trump says he was given heads up on Iranian diplomat's visit

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