The French foreign minister says it was not their hope to have Trump meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by bringing Zarif to the G7.
Asked by CNN on Monday whether that was the motivation behind bringing Zarif to the summit, the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said no, “there was no hope” of that kind of meeting.
Some background: Zarif’s surprise appearance caught some US officials off-guard. French President Emmanuel Macron informed his fellow leaders that Zarif would make the visit only the night before he arrived.
Trump maintained a neutral view of the development on Monday, saying he was not surprised and had even given Macron his approval to push forward with planning the Zarif visit.
“Macron spoke with me, he asked me,” Trump said. “I said if you want to do it that’s okay. I don’t consider that disrespectful at all, especially when he asked me for approval.”
Still, Trump said he felt it was too early for a meeting with Zarif himself. And he continued to trash the Iran nuclear deal, an accord that European leaders are working to salvage after Trump withdrew.