In a written statement on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that his country does not need Trump's opinion on Iran.
“France speaks for itself on Iran as a sovereign power," Le Drian stated. “France is deeply committed to peace and security in the region, is committed to de-escalating tensions and does not need any authorization to do so.”
Trump on Thursday had said no one was permitted to speak to Iran on behalf of the United States, after a report this week said Macron had invited Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to this month’s G7 summit to meet the U.S. president.
A French diplomat denied the invitation had been made.
Washington’s major European allies Britain, France and Germany have been at odds with the Trump administration over Iran since last year, when Trump pulled the United States out of an international deal to give Iran access to world trade in return for curbs to its nuclear program.
While the Europeans say they share U.S. concerns about Iran’s regional behavior and missile program, they believe pulling out of the nuclear agreement was a mistake.
In recent months the United States has sharply tightened sanctions on Iran with the aim of halting its oil exports. The Europeans have warned that heightened confrontation could lead to an accidental war in the Gulf.
Le Drian did not make a direct reference to Trump’s remarks. The diplomatic sparring is the latest in a series of terse exchanges between Washington and Paris ahead of the G7 meeting later this month.
In late July, Trump blasted the “foolishness” of Macron for pressing ahead with a tax on big tech companies, and threatened to tax French wines in retaliation. One French minister called Trump’s comments “completely moronic.”