US' Pompeo skips Moscow trip to talk Iran in Brussels

Saul Bowman
Мая 14, 2019

In recent days, Pompeo has already cancelled trips to Berlin and to Greenland to focus on the Iran issue.

The visit came as Washington warned of heightened tensions in the region and Pompeo sought to have talks with top diplomats from the UK, Germany and France, the State Department said.

"No one wants Iran to be in possession of a nuclear bomb".

Pompeo, who departed from Joint Base Andrews near Washington en route for Brussels, will hold talks with European officials on Iran and other issues on Monday before heading to Russian Federation, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

According to German's DPA news agency, foreign ministers of Germany, France and United Kingdom, as the three European signatories to the JCPOA, as well as EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will hold a special session today to discuss the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which has been in shambles since President Donald Trump withdrew USA from it and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

EU foreign policy chief said the European Union supports the global nuclear deal with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue.

On Thursday, the European signatories of the deal issued a joint statement rejecting Mr Rouhani's deadline and urging Iran to reconsider its decision to withdraw from some elements.

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Pompeo's communication team gave no major details regarding his Monday agenda in Brussels but said that the U.S secretary would meet with representatives of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three major European Union signatories of the deal.

The EU is trying to implement a new channel to allow Iran to sell its oil and circumvent newly-instated US sanctions, but setting it up is proving complex.

Saudi Arabia said Monday that two of its oil tankers were damaged in "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf, with its arch-rival Iran calling for an investigation and warning of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.

Pompeo's meeting with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi will be the highest-level face-to-face talks between the former Cold War foes since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"Along with our E3 partners, we're undertaking efforts to keep enabling legitimate trade with Iran, in particular by providing a payment channel", government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference.

Britain's Foreign Secretary said on Monday that the US and Iran risked ending up in an unintentional conflict over their dispute regarding Tehran's nuclear activities.

"The Secretary will have a very candid conversation about concerns in our bilateral relationship, "including Russia's breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and "Kremlin-backed attempts to meddle in US and other foreign elections".

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