EURACTIV.com with AFP and Reuters
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday (4 January) stressed the “need for de-escalation” after the US assassination of a top Iranian in Baghdad, while US President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or US assets.
After meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels, Borrell tweeted: “Spoke w Iranian FM @JZarif about recent developments. Underlined need for de-escalation of tensions, to exercise restraint & avoid further escalation”.
Trump who ordered the precision drone strike in which Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed on Friday has said the military mastermind was planning an “imminent” attack on US diplomats and the roughly 5,200 American troops deployed in Baghdad.
US kills top Iranian commander Soleimani in air strike
The United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East, in an air strike on Friday (3 December) at Baghdad airport, the Pentagon and Iran …
Borrell said he also urged Zarif to maintain the landmark nuclear accord negotiated between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — plus Germany.