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European ministers meet to salvage Iran nuclear deal

Ursula von der Leyen an EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell
Ursula von der Leyen an EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Copyright APVirginia Mayo
Copyright AP
By Alastair JamiesonJulie Gaubert
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European foreign ministers met to discuss the Iran crisis and the 2015 nuclear deal at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday.

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European foreign ministers met to discuss the Iran crisis at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday after US President Donald Trump urged allies to “break away” from the 2015 nuclear deal.

The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell called once again for deescalation, stating that it was in no one's "interest" to increase "the spiral of violence".

Borrell called recent events in Iraq and Iran "extremely worrying".

The European Union has said it “will spare no effort” in its attempts to keep alive the JCPOA, which was aimed at preventing Iran from developing atomic weapons.

After its top general was killed in a US drone attack, Iran announced that it would no longer respect limits set on how many centrifuges it can use to enrich uranium.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the move was a “remedial step” and could be reversed.

Tehran also responded with a missile attack on a US military base in Iraq that caused damage but no casualties.

'Cannot be enough' dialogue

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said her foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell will continue to work “in the midterm” to reach out to all participants in the global deal in the hopes that the agreement can be saved despite the United States’ withdrawal and a rollback on commitments from Tehran.

“The use of weapons must stop now to give space for dialogue," she said on Wednesday. “We are called upon to do everything possible to rekindle talks. There cannot be enough of that."

Borrell has invited Zarif to Brussels for talks, but a date for his visit has yet to be set amid a frenzy of diplomatic activity.

Borrell urged Iran to get back ``to full compliance without delay to make sure the deal can be salvaged.

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