Sun, 15 Dec 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron has scheduled a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a bid to save a 2015 international deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program.

Macron's office confirmed the August 23 meeting in Paris, which comes a day ahead of the start of a three-day Group of Seven (G7) summit in the French town of Biarritz.

Zarif has said that Iran is prepared to consider French proposals to salvage the deal that required Tehran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Zarif added that Iran would not tolerate U.S. interference in the Persian Gulf.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have risen since the U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the international nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the country.

Iran's economy has suffered under the sanctions, which target its oil and financial sectors.

Exacerbating tensions further, Iran debuted on August 22 what it described as a domestically built long-range missile.

President Hassan Rohani said in a speech that the unveiling of the mobile air-to-surface missile system that since Iran's 'enemies don't accept logic, we cannot respond with logic.'

In an effort to prop up the agreement, Macron offered this week to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide a compensation mechanism 'to enable the Iranian people to live better' in return for full compliance with the pact.

Tehran contends it has not violated the agreement.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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