EU urges US to show restraint, Iran to comply with nuclear deal

Brussels: Amid US-Iran tensions, European Union (EU) has urged Washington to exercise “maximum restraint” and asked Tehran to fully “comply” with its nuclear commitments.

“We as the EU always encourage dialogue and diplomatic engagement. [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo heard that very clearly today from us…That we are living in a crucial delicate moment where the most relevant and responsible attitude to take is maximum restraint and avoid any escalation on a military side,” said Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s diplomatic chief, after a meeting with Pompeo.

“We still invite Iran to comply with all its nuclear commitments, and we will do our part on our side to continue to fully implement the nuclear deal,” added Mogherini.

Pompeo canceled his visit to Moscow and stopped in Brussel instead to apprise EU of Iran’s threat.

“Pompeo made the unscheduled stop in Brussels because Iran is an escalating threat and this seemed like a timely visit on his way to Sochi, Russia,” Al Jazeera quoted Brian Hook, US special envoy for Iran, as saying.

“The secretary wanted to share some detail behind what we have been saying publicly. We believe that Iran should try talks instead of threats. They have chosen poorly by focusing on threats,” he added.

This comes a day after US bombers deployed in the Middle-East conducted their first mission to deter Iran.

During his meet with the EU ministers, he also discussed reported attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

“We discussed … what seemed to be attacked on commercial vessels that were anchored … We have been requested by the UAE to provide assistance in the investigation, which we are very glad to do,” he said.

Hook did not comment when reporters asked whether the US believes that Iran is behind the attack.

The United Arab Emirates has announced that four commercial ships, including two of Saudi Arabia, were subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of Fujairah.

However, neither UAE nor Saudi has so far blamed anyone for the attack.

When last year, Trump pulled out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the rest of signatories in the pact- UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, and Iran- had criticized the US and vowed to remain a part of the deal.