Europe

EU urges de-escalation of Iran-US tension

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the EU wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the international nuclear accord with Iran.

The European Union fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says.

"We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will," Mogherini told reporters before a meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, who are signatories to the deal.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to meet EU officials in Brussels on Monday to talk about Iran.

Mogherini said she was informed during the night of Pompeo's arrival to Brussels where EU foreign ministers are gathered for a regular monthly meeting.

"We will be here all day with a busy agenda. So we will see during the day how and if we will manage to arrange a meeting. He's always welcome obviously, but there are no precise plans at the moment," Mogherini said.

Pompeo is on his way to the Black Sea resort of Sochi where he plans to meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss Iran.

European countries said last week they wanted to preserve Iran's nuclear deal and rejected "ultimatums" from Tehran, after Iran relaxed restrictions on its nuclear program and threatened moves that might breach the 2015 international pact.

Iran's move was in response to US sanctions imposed following Donald Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the accord with Tehran a year ago.

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