Macron's top diplomatic adviser to visit Iran as tension rises

French President Emmanuel Macron delivering a speech in Paris, France, on July 8, 2019.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivering a speech in Paris, France, on July 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser will travel to Iran on Tuesday (July 9) and Wednesday to try to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and the United States, a presidential official said on Monday.

Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20 per cent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year.

The French official said both Iran and the United States had an interest in raising pressure at this stage, but that both sides would want to start talks eventually.

"The important thing in a crisis situation such as this one is to find the middle points that take us from extreme tension to negotiation, that's what we're trying to do," the official said.