Pompeo and Mogherini

EU urges U.S. to avoid military escalation with Iran

Special U.S. Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters in Brussels, following yesterday’s one-day visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that intelligence information was relayed to Washington’s European allies, including – what Hook referred to as: “multiple plot vectors” that are emerging from the Islamic Republic. Hook said: “The secretary shared information and intelligence with allies and discussed the multiple plot vectors emerging from Iran.”

The Special Representative for Iran once again insisted that the goal remains to alter Iran’s behavior, after 40 years of exporting its ideology of violent revolutions. In his words: “Our goal continues to be for Iran to behave like a normal nation and not like a revolutionary cause. They have been exporting violent revolution around the Middle East for 40 years. We have put in place an entirely new foreign policy with respect to the Iranian regime. Iran’s era of deniable attacks is over.”

Despite the concrete intelligence information about the growing potential threats that emanate from Iran, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that she urged the U.S. to apply maximum restraint in order to avoid a military escalation with Iran during a meeting with her American counterpart. She said: “Mike Pompeo (U.S. Secretary of State) heard very clearly from us — not only from myself but also from the other ministers of EU member states — that we are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant attitude to take — the most responsible attitude to take – is, and we believe should be, that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation of the military side.”

Refusing to accept the demise of the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, Mogherini insisted that the European Union will continue to respect its part of the multilateral accord, if Tehran revisits its decision to scale-back on its global nuclear commitments. “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 (2015) nuclear deal,” Mogherini stated.

The adamant European position vis-à-vis the Iran nuclear deal is progressively weakening, after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Tehran’s decision to scale-back on its nuclear commitments, and threated the European union with a series of demands as part of an ultimatum.

As part of the ultimatum, that was declared on the 8th of May, Iran demanded immediate European measures be implemented to safeguard Tehran’s economy in the face of U.S. sanctions. The Iranian threat infuriated European powers, whom underscored that while they will continue to protect the nuclear deal, ‘Iran could face more sanctions if it doesn’t hold up its part of the deal.’ French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said “It is true that the declarations made by the Iranian authorities about their commitments in the framework of the the Vienna agreement, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), are very worrying. It is true that the American position to increase the pressure and the sanctions doesn’t suit us, we have said it already. But it is also true that this form of ultimatum, which was given to us, is not appropriate. So, we will see with our colleagues how to act together to maintain the JCPOA and to keep Iran in the JCPOA. Because we did not break this agreement. And so, we will consider the initiatives that we must take following these declarations.”

Despite the apparent increase of threatening-rhetoric voiced by Tehran’s Ayatollah regime and military establishment, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif continues to insist that the United States is responsible for the latest escalation.

Ahead of a meeting with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi this morning, Minister Zarif claimed that the Islamic Republic is not interested in an escalation, but it will act in self-defense if provoked. According to Mohammad Javad Zarif: “Well unfortunately United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily. We do not seek escalation, but we have always defended ourselves.”