The European Union convened a rare emergency session in Belgium Friday
in an effort to hold together the fledgling 2015 nuclear agreement with
The EU Foreign Affairs Council staged the meeting to discuss
ramifications of the new U.S.-Iran crisis and how it impacts the
landmark accord. The meeting, which was set for Friday afternoon, will
include NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
"I will debrief the member states about the contacts I have had with
[U.S. Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, with Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif and with the Prime Minister of Iraq Adil
Abd Al-Mahdi," said EU Vice President Josep Borrell.
"Given the threatening escalation of the conflict between the United
States and Iran, Europe is now playing an important role we have to take
full advantage of this situation," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
said, adding that he hoped the meeting would result in a unified course
of action for EU states.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in
2018, but EU officials have said they want to save it. The deal agreed
to lift sanctions against Tehran in exchange for Iran limiting its
Iran took multiple steps last year to distance itself from the pact,
including exceeding the limit of stockpiled uranium. After the U.S.
killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week, Tehran said it
would no longer abide by uranium provisions of the deal. Zarif said,
however, the move could be reversed in negotiations.
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