Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s surprise arrival on Sunday to the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, played into the fears of some analysts in the Israeli intelligence community of a sudden move by U.S. President Donald Trump to resurrect the Iran deal. Zarif did not end up meeting with Trump – only with the G-7 host, French President Emmanuel Macron. But Trump’s subsequent remarks that he had been in on the secret invitation to Zarif, that he “respects” his arrival, and that he was not interested in regime change but rather a “strong Iran” hardly helped to allay concerns in Israel.
Trump did withdraw from the nuclear agreement last May, and his administration has imposed new sanctions on Iran since then. But he also went from threatening North Korea with nuclear annihilation to hobnobbing with its leader. And after Macron suggested at the summit that the United States and Iran should meet in the coming weeks, Trump said the timeline sounded realistic. The U.S. president told reporters that there was “a really good chance” the meeting would happen.
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