French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has replied to recent statements by US President Donald Trump by saying that France doesn't require a green light from the US to hold negotiations with other states, including Iran.
"On Iran, France speaks with complete sovereignty. It is working hard for peace and security in the region, it is working to facilitate a de-escalation in tensions and it needs no permission to do so", he said.
The minister further stated that French President Emmanuel Macron has been working on resolving tensions between the US and Iran "in full transparency" with Paris' partners, especially European.
Earlier, Trump criticised Macron for allegedly trying to speak on behalf of the US in negotiations with Iran, but failed to indicate when this took place or give any other details.
....I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself. No one is authorized in any way, shape, or form, to represent us!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Earlier, the Internet media outlet Al-Monitor reported that Macron had invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet Trump at the G7 summit, which is set to take place in Biarritz in late August. This information, however, was denied by a French diplomat in an interview with Reuters.
Tensions have been brewing in the Middle East amid a confrontation between the US and Iran, which has largely remained verbal so far. The US accused the Islamic Republic of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf and of illegally detaining British-flagged tanker the Stena Impero.
Tehran has denied attacking tankers and in turn lambasted the ongoing US military build-up in the region, warning Washington against starting a war with Iran.