Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron held talks on Monday, 19 August, at Fort Bregancon near Toulon just days before Macron is set to host a G7 summit in Biarritz in the south of the country. And France is counting on Russia’s help to resolve a diplomatic impasse with Iran, according to former French Ambassador to Tehran François Nicoullaud.
“Due to the difficult situation in the Persian Gulf, the parties are looking for a way out. Indeed, France is seeking Moscow’s support to try to maintain the 2015 nuclear agreement”, Nicoullaud said, who served as Ambassador to Iran between 2001 and 2005.
Moscow can also help Tehran where US sanctions are hurting it the most: with the sale of oil.
“Everyone expects Moscow to do something about it”, the former diplomat stressed.
It is more difficult for European countries to act, he explained, because their companies are too closely linked to the US market, unlike Russian ones. For Russia it is easier, and Macron and Putin can “find a way out of the crisis”, he added.
“Russia, like China, as well as three European countries – France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – is a serious partner in the development and implementation of the agreement”, Nicoullaud concluded.
Since the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and reactivated sanctions against the Islamic Republic, tensions have risen between the US and Iran.
The situation escalated even more in June this year when the US accused Iran of downing an American drone in the Strait of Hormuz, something Tehran has denied.
The US is currently trying to gather together a maritime coalition against Iran, which Washington says is aimed at protecting oil shipments in the Persian Gulf against Iranian interference.
Both Russia and France remain committed to the preservation of the Iran nuclear deal .__The Nation