Skip to main content

Israel pays the price for sidelining Europe on the Iranian file

The latest visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Biarritz indicates that France is willing to offer Israel a respite on the Palestinian issue, but not on the Iranian file.

French President Emmanuel Macron did not hide his satisfaction over his Aug. 25 meeting in Biarritz, France, with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, on the margins of the Group of 7 summit, and the ensuing change of tone by President Donald Trump. Speaking Aug. 27 at the annual ambassadors’ conference in Paris, Macron was cautious but optimistic, hinting that a meeting between Trump and his Iranian counterpart could be in the offing.

Official Israel kept quiet over these latest developments. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no public statements, but senior officials fed the local press hints about Israel’s apprehensions should such a meeting materialize. Israeli diplomats were sent out to gather information from the French, but their efforts came too late — much too late. The French train has already left the station.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.