Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

Iran has announced it’s demand to sell 1.5 million barrels of oil per day and that it won’ | World | News

An Iranian officials on Sunday said: “As a goodwill gesture and a step toward creating space for negotiations, we have responded to France’s proposal. We want to export 700,000 bpd of oil and get paid in cash and that is just for a start. It should reach to 1.5 million barrels per day.”

A second official said “Iran’s ballistic missile program cannot and will not be negotiated.

We have underlined it clearly and openly.”

The officials did not elaborate on the reference to a French proposal. French officials were not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister made a flying visit for talks with host France at the G7 summit on Sunday, as Paris ramped up efforts to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington, a dramatic diplomatic move that the White House said had surprised them.

European leaders have struggled to damp down the brewing confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled Washington out of Iran’s internationally-brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is under U.S. sanctions, flew to the southwest French town of Biarritz where the Group of Seven leaders are meeting. He held more than three hours of talks, including with Macron, before heading back to Tehran.

“Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying,” Zarif tweeted, adding that in addition to meeting French leaders he had given a joint briefing to officials from Britain and Germany.

French officials sought to bill the meeting as important to “refine Iranian propositions” to help defuse the crisis after G7 leaders had discussed Iran over dinner on Saturday.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s shock reaction as Iran gate crashes G7 after French nuclear talks invite

Macron, who has taken the lead in Europe in trying to salvage the agreement and avert a deeper crisis in the Middle East, had already met Zarif in Paris on Friday.

They discussed proposals to de-escalate tensions between Washington and Tehran, including easing some U.S. sanctions or providing Iran with an economic compensation mechanism to make up for oil revenues lost under U.S. sanctions.

But despite Macron spending two hours with Trump over lunch on Saturday and all seven leaders discussing Iran at length in the evening, it did not appear that the U.S. leader had budged on easing oil sanctions as Macron had sought from Trump.

A European diplomat familiar with the discussions said the leaders had failed at the dinner to persuade Trump.

Earlier on Sunday Trump appeared to brush aside French efforts to mediate with Iran, saying that while he was happy for Macron to reach out to Tehran to defuse tensions, the United States would carry on with its own initiatives.

Trump and Macron are scheduled to hold a joint news conference at 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) on Monday at the conclusion of the summit, the White House said.

Macron’s invitation to Mr Zarif had caught Trump by surprise, a White House official said, and no U.S. officials met with Mr Zarif during the visit.

Other delegations also said they had been informed at the last minute. The Elysee said delegations had been informed, but everything had happened very quickly.

U.S. authorities earlier this month placed Zarif under U.S. sanctions.

“Zarif will convey the Iranian leadership’s response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal aimed at saving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal,” a senior Iranian official had told Reuters.

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