France responds to Trump criticism, free to speak on Iran

August 9, 2019 GMT

PARIS (AP) — France said Friday it doesn’t need authorization to speak out on Iran issues, in a response to criticism by President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted Thursday that people purporting to represent the U.S., including French President Emmanuel Macron, are giving Iran “mixed signals.”

He added that he knows Macron means well, but that “no one is authorized in any way, shape, or form, to represent us!”

In a written statement Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France “speaks with total sovereignty” and is committed to try to de-escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

“France commits strongly to peace and security in the region, and commits to enabling de-escalation. France requires no authorization to do so,” he said.

Macron has taken a lead role in trying to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which has been unraveling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement.

Macron “is of course keeping the U.S. authorities informed” of his diplomatic efforts, Le Drian said.