France said on Friday that it “needs no permission” to work towards easing tensions between Iran and the U.S. after President Donald Trump accused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of interfering in the dispute.
“On Iran, France speaks with complete sovereignty. It is working hard for peace and security in the region, it is working to facilitate a de-escalation in tensions and it needs no permission to do so,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
President Trump had claimed on Thursday that Iranian officials want “desperately to talk to the US, but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France.”
“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!” he said.
The U.S.-Iran dispute escalated in June, with Iran downing an American drone and Washington responding by imposing new sanctions against Tehran and its leaders.
Back in May 2018, President Trump announced that he was pulling the U.S. out of a nuclear agreement with Iran, one of his biggest foreign policy decisions.
France, Germany and the U.K. opposed the move, which the U.N., China, and Russia were also a part of.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that President Macron had spoken over the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The French leader said it was France’s role “to make every effort to ensure that all parties agree to a break and open negotiations.”