EU promises to try to save Iran nuclear deal despite setback

Published January 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By the Associated Press

The European Union said Wednesday it “will spare no efforts” in its attempts to keep alive an international deal preventing Iran from developing atomic weapons.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen rings a bell to signal the start of an extraordinary meeting of the EU college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is expected to brief the college on Wednesday regarding the current situation in Libya and Iran. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo/MANILA BULLETIN)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen rings a bell to signal the start of an extraordinary meeting of the EU college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is expected to brief the college on Wednesday regarding the current situation in Libya and Iran. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo/MANILA BULLETIN)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said her foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell will continue to work “in the midterm” to reach out to all participants in the global deal in the hopes that the 2015 nuclear agreement can still be saved despite a rollback on commitments from Tehran.

Von der Leyen also reiterated the need to de-escalate the tension in the region, especially after Iran’s missile attack on two American bases in response to a US strike that killed its top general.

Speaking alongside von der Leyen, Borrell urged all parties involved in the growing tensions to eschew more military action.

“The latest rocket attack on airbases in Iraq used by US and coalition forces, among them European, is yet another example of escalation and increased confrontation. It is in no one’s interest to turn up the spiral of violence even further,” he said.

Borrell has invited Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Brussels for talks. The EU foreign ministers have organized a special meeting on Friday to discuss the ongoing crisis.

After its top general was assassinated in the US drone attack, Iran announced over the weekend that it would no longer respect limits set on how many centrifuges it can use to enrich uranium.

Zarif said the move was a “remedial step” taken within the framework of the nuclear deal and he said it could be reversed.

 
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