World, Middle East, Europe

Iran’s top diplomat invited to Brussels

EU’s foreign policy chief tries to ease tensions between Iran, US after incidents in Iraq

Agnes Szucs   | 05.01.2020
Iran’s top diplomat invited to Brussels Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

BRUSSELS

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was invited to Brussels to discuss de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East and nuclear non-proliferation.  

EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke on the phone with his Iranian counterpart and a number of EU foreign ministers this weekend after the dramatic surge of confrontations between the U.S. and Iran. 

During his phone conversation with Minister Zarif, the EU’s top diplomat offered his support to calm the tensions in the region and expressed his concerns about the violent developments in Iraq, including the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. 

Borrell also reiterated the EU’s position on the necessity of a political solution in the region and called Iran to exercise restraint when considering further steps.

High Representative Borrell confirmed his willingness to continue to be the coordinator for the nuclear non-proliferation deal. The world powers agreed with Iran in 2015, but the U.S. unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the cooperation. Borrell urged to preserve the unity between the remaining parties of the nuclear plan, which he considers as “a cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture” and hence a key for the regional and global security.

Tehran and Washington are threatening each other with revenge after tensions dramatically rose between the two countries past weeks. After the death of an American contractor in rocket attacks on a U.S. base in Iraq, U.S. forces carried out a series of strikes against the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group in Iraq.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was then attacked by a large crowd of protesters Tuesday. Being accused of plotting attacks on U.S. diplomats, Iranian commander Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone airstrike outside Baghdad's airport on Friday.

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