Since May 2018, the United States and France have increasingly split over Iran. On August 8, President Trump accused French President Emmanuel Macron of giving Iran “mixed signals” on possible negotiations with the United States. On August 9, Yves Le Drian, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, countered that France required “no authorization” to engage with Iran on escalating tensions—or any issue.
France has focused on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal with the four other major powers—Britain, China, Germany and Russia—in the diplomacy. France also opposed the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. In July, it refused to join Operation Sentinel, the U.S. maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf, over fears it could lead to conflict with Iran. The following are statements by President Trump and Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Statement by President Trump
....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
Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian
On Iran, France speaks with total sovereignty. France commits strongly to peace and security in the region, and commits to enabling de-escalation. France requires no authorization to do so.
France is true to the Vienna Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), which blocks nuclear proliferation. It is true to its signature, as are the other signatories of the JCPoA, apart from the United States, and firmly asks Iran to resume compliance with its obligations.
The heightened tensions require political initiatives to restore the conditions for dialogue. That is what President Macron is doing, in full transparency with our partners and first and foremost with the European JCPoA signatories. He is of course keeping the US authorities informed. All efforts must be brought together to avoid this conflictual situation becoming a dangerous confrontation.