Europe

European Council to Iran: Avoid ‘irreversible acts’

Iran’s president says committed to cooperate with EU, but his government has not accepted EU's invitation to Brussels yet

Agnes Szucs   | 09.01.2020
European Council to Iran: Avoid ‘irreversible acts’

BRUSSELS 

The president of the European Council had a phone call with Iranian president Thursday to discuss recent developments in the region, an EU statement said.

Charles Michel reminded Hassan Rouhani of the importance of 2015 nuclear deal, and urged the Iranian president to avoid “irreversible acts.”

Michel also expressed his condolences for Wednesday’s plane crash near Tehran, which killed all 176 on board.

Rohani, for his part, acknowledged the “EU’s stabilizing role in the region” and reaffirmed that Iran is committed to continue cooperating with the bloc.

However, the Iranian government still has not replied to the invitation by EU’s High Representative on Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell for Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East and nuclear non-proliferation in Brussels.

Last Friday, Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

His death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since President Donald Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.

Iran announced Sunday it will no longer comply with any commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal and launched a retaliatory airstrike against U.S troops in Iraq on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs will hold an extraordinary meeting on the situation in Iraq and Iran, as well as on the escalation of the Libyan conflict, on Friday afternoon.

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