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EU tries to de-escalate new US-Iran crisis brewing in the Persian Gulf

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By Philip Pangalos
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EU tries to de-escalate new US-Iran crisis brewing in the Persian Gulf
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The European Union is trying its utmost to de-escalate the dangers of a new crisis brewing in the broader Persian Gulf region at a time when relations between Washington and Tehran are going from bad to worse.

European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini said that Iran has not breached the nuclear agreement and she hoped that there would not be a change in this stance.

"Iran is still compliant and we strongly hope, encourage, expect that Iran continues to comply with its commitments. And I will not enter into a blame game at all. You know me: The interest we have is to keep the nuclear deal in place," said Mogherini.

Iran has said it would breach internationally agreed curbs on its stock of low-enriched uranium in 10 days, a move likely to strain already high tensions with Washington, but it added that European nations still had time to save a landmark nuclear deal.

"From June 27 we will bypass the limit of 300kg (for enrichment). Not only will we bypass this limit but the production levels will increase significantly," said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

The comments come in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region, attacks that Washington has blamed on Iran. Tensions have recently spiked between Iran and the United States, a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal.