France’s G-7 invitation of Zarif underscores U.S., European divisions on Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Top Iranian officials made an unexpected visit Sunday to the Group of Seven summit at the apparent invitation of France, a brazen end run around Washington that underscores the deep divide between the U.S. and its key European allies over how to deal with Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, its destabilization of the Middle East and its recent attempted attacks on Israel.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived at the gathering in Biarritz, France, just hours after the State Department condemned a new “threat” from Tehran against a U.S. think tank and a day after Israelsaid it foiled a “killer drone” attack that Tehran planned to launch from an air base in Syria.

Mr. Zarif’s arrival seemed to have caught the White House by surprise, and French officials suggested they did not clear the invitation with President Trump or any other G-7 stakeholders.

“We operate on our own terms,” an unidentified French official told The Associated Press.


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