EU calls for restraint in Iran

Wednesday, 2019-05-15 15:43:05
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European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO – According to Reuters, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 13 made a surprise visit to Belgium to talk with the main European powers on Iran. Following her meeting with Minister Pompeo, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she shared the EU's common view: “maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on a military side".

* Earlier, Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany had a special meeting to discuss Iran's issue on the sideline of the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

Senior EU representatives stated that the parties have now big differences with Iran in terms of regional development and dialogue is the best way to solve the problems. Britain’s foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said Iran and the United States could trigger a conflict by accident.

* Earlier on May 13, President Donald Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted US interests. The New York Times reported that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan against Iran at a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides. Accordingly, Washington will send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons.

On the same day, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, Tehran could implement many measures, including the withdrawal from the nuclear deal if Iran’s nuclear programme is discussed again at the UN Security Council. According to him, the suspension of some commitments in the agreement aimed to create conditions for Europe to have time to comply with its commitment obligations.

* European diplomatic sources on May 13 said that during the Iran-EU talks, Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, triple May’s expected levels under US sanctions. The sanctions have already more than halved Iranian oil exports to 1 million bpd or less, from a peak of 2.8 million bpd last year. Exports could drop to as low as 500,000 bpd from May.

* During his visit to India on May 14, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held talks with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on the oil trade between the two countries. New Delhi stopped importing crude oil from Iran following the US. The Iranian Foreign Minister said that India is one of our most important economic, political, and regional partners.