Euronews – Euronews spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Paris following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz this weekend.
Zarif told Euronews’ Anelise Borges about his discussion with Macron on Friday:
“We discussed with Macron how the US could come back, and how Europe and the international community can live up to their commitments, independent of the US.”
On international relations, Zarif had this to say:
”We want to engage with everybody, but we only trust our own people, that is how we’ve been able to survive 40 years of outside forces…at the end of the day we have learnt the hard way, that we need to only put confidence in own people and abilities ”
Friday’s talks centring on Iran’s contested nuclear programme mark a rare bilateral encounter between a Western head of state and a senior Iranian official.
The United States abandoned an international nuclear deal in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
At a time of heightened friction between Tehran and Washington, Iran on Thursday displayed what it described as a domestically-built, long-range, surface-to-air missile air defence system.
In a bid to de-escalate tensions, Macron on Wednesday proposed softening sanctions on Iran or providing a compensation mechanism “to enable the Iranian people to live better” in return for full compliance with the pact.
Zarif said on Thursday that Iran was prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the nuclear deal, but added that Tehran would not tolerate US interference in the Gulf.
Read more: Iran ready to work on French nuclear deal proposals does not want war – foreign minister
The Iranian foreign minister made the comments during a talk at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, one of his stops on a Scandinavian tour.
Talks between Macron and the Iranian politician came amid a backdrop of further tensions concerning an Iranian oil tanker that is travelling through the Mediterranean.
The vessel was released from detention off Gibraltar after a five-week standoff concerning whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
The US, which wants the tanker seized, claims is transporting around €143 million worth in light crude to Syria.
The Adrian Darya 1, which was in the middle of the Mediterranean yesterday, 100 nautical miles south of Sardinia and 60 nautical miles north of Algeria, was yesterday blocked from refuelling in Greece.
France is set to chair a three-day summit with leaders of G7 countries, including US President Donald Trump, in the southern beach resort of Biarritz.