U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron about Iran's threat to ramp up enrichment of uranium, the White House said.
"They discussed ongoing efforts to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and to end Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East," a White House spokesman said in a statement.
It was also announced on Monday that Macron's top diplomatic advisor will travel to Iran on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and the United States, a presidential official said on Monday.
France has been trying to mediate between the two countries. Macron spoke on telephone with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on July 6.
During that conversation, Rouhani reportedly said that if all U.S. sanctions are suspended it could open the way for negotiations.
“Halting all sanctions can be the start of new movement between Iran and 5+1”, Rouhani said, referring to the signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement, the official IRNA news website reported.
A statement from French presidency later said Macron had expressed his deep concern to Rouhani over any further weakening of the 2015 nuclear deal and warned that consequences would follow.
But on Monday Iran threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year.
The French official said both Iran and the United States had an interest in raising pressure at this stage, but that both sides would want to start talks eventually.
"The important thing in a crisis situation such as this one is to find the middle points that take us from extreme tension to negotiation, that's what we're trying to do," the official said.