Iranian foreign minister arrives in Biarritz as G7 talks go on

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived on Sunday in Biarritz, where leaders of the G7 group of nations are meeting, news wires reported. Flight tracking website showed an Iranian government jet landed at Biarritz’s airport, which has been closed for the three-day summit.

Iranian state television cited the foreign ministry as saying Zarif would not hold talks with US President Donald Trump’s summit delegation. Trump refused to comment on reports that Zarif had landed in Biarritz. The office of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the G7 summit, declined to comment as did the French foreign ministry.

European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.

Earlier on Sunday at the G7 summit, Trump appeared to brush aside French efforts to mediate with Iran, saying that while he was happy for Paris to reach out to Tehran to defuse tensions he would carry on with his own initiatives. France said G7 leaders had agreed that Macron should hold talks and pass on messages to Iran. However, Trump, who has pushed a maximum pressure policy on Iran, distanced himself from the proposal, saying he had not even discussed it.

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