www.dw.com-The three European nations called on Iran to abide by the terms of a 2015 nuclear pact. The German foreign minister wants a planned EU meeting brought forward amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday called on the US and Iran to “exercise utmost restraint” as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East.
The three leaders issued a joint statement saying there was “an urgent need for de-escalation” and that the “current cycle of violence in Iraq must end.”
The trio reiterated their “attachment to the sovereignty and security of Iraq,” saying that “another crisis risks jeopardizing years of efforts to stabilize Iraq.”
Iran nuclear deal
Iran announced earlier on Sunday that it would no longer stick to the limits set out in the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) in retaliation over the killing of its top general, Qassem Soleimani on Friday by drone strike.
The JCPOA was an agreement reached by the Obama administration, but US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the deal in 2018.
In their statement, the European leaders called on Iran to refrain from any violence or nuclear activities and to reverse any measures that do not comply with the terms of the nuclear agreement.
Merkel, Johnson and Macron made reference to the latest attack on coalition troops stationed in Iraq, saying “we are deeply concerned about the negative role that Iran has played in the region, in particular with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the al-Quds unit under command of General Soleimani.”
German foreign minister calls for united EU position
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday that he had proposed bringing forward a regular meeting with counterparts from other European Union countries to the coming week amid the current, fast-developing situation.
Maas released a statement on Sunday, calling on the EU to use its reliable channels of communication with all sides “to the full extent.”
“Europe now has an important role in view of the threatening escalation of the conflict between the United States and Iran” and that EU foreign ministers should “quickly agree on a common approach,” said Maas.
Germany will reach out to Iraq to clarify relations following a parliamentary vote to expel foreign troops, he said, adding that “we will respect every decision.” Germany has about 130 soldiers in Iraq as part of an international assistance and training mission.