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Zarif Rules Out Any High-Level Meeting Or Bilateral Talks With U.S.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, August 26, 2019

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says it is not possible to imagine a meeting between the presidents of Iran and the United States, and even if the U.S. returns to the 2015 nuclear agreement, there could be no bilateral talks.

Zarif referring to his brief trip to the G7 gathering in France told the official government news website IRNA, “I said in Biarritz that a meeting between the Iranian president and Trump is not imaginable until the U.S. returns to 5+1 and discharges [its commitments] under the JCPOA, and even then, there would be no bilateral talks”.

The 2015 nuclear agreement also known as JCPOA was originally between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany. The United States withdrew from the agreement in May 2018 citing what it called major flaws and Iran’s aggressive policies in the Middle East.

Zarif unexpectedly flew into Biarritz on Sunday and held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, in what appeared to be an attempt at a breakthrough in reducing tensions between Tehran and Washington.

A day later macron and Donald Trump sounded hopeful that a high-level meeting between the two countries can take place in the near future. But Zarif told IRNA that whatever the American and French leaders had to say “is their business but in my trip to Biarritz I said there will be no meeting with U.S. officials”.

Zarif who was visiting Beijing travels on to Tokyo on Tuesday.