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Donald Trump says hasn't 'discussed' joint G7 message to Iran

The self-proclaimed dealmaker has failed again. Since taking office, Donald Trump has had a torrid time with deals, be it North Korea, Iran or China, Trump has had a lot to say, but precious little to show. On Tuesday as well, US President Donald Trump proclaimed talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders dead while the general in charge said the US military is likely to ramp up operations in Afghanistan to counter an increase in Taliban attacks. Trump scrapped talks with the Taliban planned for Camp David, Maryland, over the weekend after an American soldier was killed by a suicide bomber in the capital Kabul last week. Trump's decision to cancel the talks is puzzling because it goes against his pledge to withdraw the nearly 14-thousandn US Troops Afghanistan and end US involvement in a conflict that is closing in on 18 years. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Biarritz, France Aug 25, 2019, 05.04 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Sunday denied signing off on a joint G7 message to Iran over its nuclear programme as announced by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

"No, I haven't discussed that," Trump told reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the southwestern French resort of Biarritz.

This contradicted Macron who shortly beforehand had said the G7 countries "agreed on what to say to Iran".

Trump said: "We’ll do our outreach. But you can’t stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk."

A landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran all but collapsed after Trump unilaterally withdrew US support last year, reimposing sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Macron has been leading efforts to defuse the crisis by finding ways of resuming dialogue, meeting Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif for rare talks in Paris on Friday on the eve of the summit.

He has also held telephone talks with President Hassan Rouhani.

On Sunday, a diplomatic source said G7 leaders had mutually agreed to task Macron with sending a message to Iran.

"Emmanuel Macron was mandated to talk with Iran and address a message" to the country to avoid an escalation in the region, said the source.

Story highlights

A landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran all but collapsed after Trump unilaterally withdrew US support last year, reimposing sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.