World Macron Tried to Broker Meeting Between Trump, Iran's President

15:51  25 september  2019
15:51  25 september  2019 Source:   online.wsj.com

Trump Boxed In After Blaming Iran for Saudi Oil Plant Strike

Trump Boxed In After Blaming Iran for Saudi Oil Plant Strike The Trump administration sought to offer new evidence to back its claim that Iran conducted the attack on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, saying the munitions used in the strikes were well beyond the capabilities of the Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility. © Thomson Reuters Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron mounted an intensive effort to broker a meeting between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but the attempt failed when Iran The meeting would have been the first of a U. S . and Iranian president since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

French President Emmanuel Macron made the proposals and tried to broker a meeting between Trump and Rouhani, the Iranian leader said. In an interview with CNN' s Christiane Amanpour in September, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran would be open to negotiating a new deal

UNITED NATIONS—French President Emmanuel Macron mounted an intensive effort Tuesday to broker a meeting between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but the attempt failed when the Iranian side insisted the U.S. first commit to easing sanctions, according to people briefed on the discussions.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie © ludovic marin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The meeting would have been the first of a U.S. and Iranian president since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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The confidential diplomatic maneuvers, which were strongly supported by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, took place amid the rising tensions in the Persian Gulf following the alleged Iranian attack earlier this month on a Saudi oil facility and a war of words between Washington and Tehran.

Iran's Khamenei rejects talks with United States

Iran's Khamenei rejects talks with United States Iran will never hold one-on-one talks with the United States but could engage in multilateral discussions if it returns to the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday, according to state television. © Reuters/TIMA AGENCY Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the death anniversary of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran U.S. President Donald Trump has said he could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month.

U. S . President Donald Trump said on Monday he would meet Iran ' s president under the right Trump told reporters it was realistic to envisage a meeting between him and President Hassan They are hurting badly,” Trump said. French President Emmanuel Macron , host of the G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron attempted to arrange a telephone conversation between Iranian Watch as French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson try to persuade No Meeting Envisaged Between Trump , Rouhani During UNGA – Iran ’ s Mission to UN.

Mr. Trump told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his administration was prepared to increase the sanctions pressure on Tehran until Iran no longer posed a threat to the U.S. and its allies.

Mr. Rouhani, who has demanded that the U.S. abandon “warmongering,” is scheduled to deliver his rejoinder to the General Assembly on Wednesday.

France, Britain and Germany are worried that there is a growing risk of a military confrontation in the Gulf, which would lead to a cut off in oil supplies and perhaps a major war.

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On Monday, they issued a statement urging talks on a new diplomatic framework that would cover Iran’s nuclear activities, its missile program and regional crises.

That proposal was received positively by the Trump administration, which left a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran on the grounds that it didn’t go far enough to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program and its assertive posture in the region.

But for the Europeans, that left the problems of how to get those diplomatic discussions off the ground.

In a bid to launch the new talks, Mr. Macron met separately Tuesday with Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani. Mr. Johnson also met with the Iranian and U.S. leaders.

The goal was to bring about a multilateral meeting that would likely have included the U.S. and Iranian presidents as well as Mr. Macron and possibly other European leaders. That would have required that the U.S. and Iran resolve or set aside any preconditions for a meeting.

“I think I agree with Emmanuel. You need to be on the side of the swimming pool and jump at the same time,” Mr. Johnson said during a huddle Tuesday with Mr. Macron and Mr. Rouhani.

But Iran wouldn’t budge on its insistence that the U.S. first ease sanctions and the Americans didn’t meet the Iranian demands.

The White House declined to comment. Iranian officials didn’t respond to requests for comment about the European initiative.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday evening, Mr. Macron insisted that his efforts weren’t wasted and that the conditions are now in place “for a quick resumption of dialogue and negotiations” between the U.S. and Iran.

“It’s now for Iran and the U.S. to seize these conditions and to meet together again to re-create some momentum,” he said. “France is ready” to assist.

Despite the talk of progress, differences remain. European nations are still committed to preserving the 2015 nuclear accord even as they are trying to usher in talks about a broader diplomatic arrangement that might supersede it.

Nor have the Europeans endorsed all of the U.S. demands or its readiness to step up sanctions.

And while the Europeans were trying to play matchmaker between the U.S. and the Iranians, other diplomatic meetings were taking place.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo huddled in New York with counterparts from the Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of Arab states including Saudi Arabia.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, said on Tuesday that the statement by France, Britain and Germany calling for a more comprehensive approach on the Iran issue was “a significant step forward.”

But he indicated during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations that Saudi Arabia still had concerns about how firm the Europeans were prepared to be with Iran—what he called the methodology of European policy.

He said Mr. Macron’s proposal to grant Iran modest sanctions relief had emboldened Iran, as had the Europeans’ reluctance to blame Iran for the May attack on a Saudi oil pipeline. Saudi Arabia, he added, was still weighing its diplomatic, military and economic options.

Tuesday’s diplomatic push came after the U.K., France and Germany on Monday publicly blamed Iran for last week’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Iranian officials reacted angrily to the European statement, criticizing the three countries for backing the U.S. charge that Iran was responsible for the Saudi attacks and saying Europe shouldn’t be making demands that are inconsistent with the nuclear deal.

In a speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Macron said the U.S. strategy of economic pressure had produced an Iranian response of “maximum pressure” against Tehran’s neighbors, which has created the risk of a serious conflict.

He set out five issues on which negotiations should focus: certainty that Iran never acquires nuclear weapons, a solution to the Yemen crisis, a regional security plan that addresses other conflicts, the security of maritime navigation and the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran.

“I am not naive at all and I don’t believe in miracles,” he said. “I believe that it takes courage to build peace.”

Mr. Rouhani told reporters in New York on Tuesday that Iran could only accept some small amendments to the 2015 accord. That appeared to be a reference to an Iranian offer to quickly ratify an international protocol allowing the U.N.’s atomic agency to conduct broader inspections in member states. Iran has already provisionally applied this so-called additional protocol, so it would have no practical impact on where inspectors could go.

Write to Laurence Norman at laurence.norman@wsj.com and Michael R. Gordon at michael.gordon@wsj.com

Trump says he rejected lifting sanctions on Iran to meet with its president .
Trump says he rejected lifting sanctions on Iran to meet with its presidentTrump appeared to be referencing reports that Rouhani claimed the U.S. agreed to lift the punishing sanctions it’s leveled against Tehran in order to arrange a meeting between the two leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

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