The leaders of Germany, France and Britain on Sunday called on Iran to refrain from any violent action and urged Iran to go back to respecting arrangements laid out in the JCPOA 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after Tehran announced it would no longer abide by a limit on enrichment.
“We call on Iran to withdraw all measures that are not in line with the nuclear agreement,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement.
The 2015 agreement negotiated between Iran and the U.N. Security Council permanent members – Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States – plus Germany offered Tehran relief from stinging sanctions in return for curbs to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.
But U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal last year had largely left it in tatters, with Iran in turn progressively dropping key commitments in the accord.
With tensions rising following the U.S. drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and top Iraqi military figure Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the European leaders also urged Iran to refrain from taking “further violent actions or support for them.”
“It is crucial now to de-escalate. We call on all the players involved to show utmost restraint and responsibility,” the statement said.
The European leaders also pleaded with the parties to not jeopardize a battle against Daesh terrorists, after the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution demanding that thousands of U.S. troops be ousted. They reaffirmed their commitment to continuing the fight against the terror organization.
“Preserving the (anti-Daesh) coalition is of great importance in this context. We call on the Iraqi authorities to continue to provide the coalition with the necessary support,” they said.
“We are ready to continue talks with all parties in order to contribute to de-escalating tensions and re-establishing stability in the region,” added the E3 group.
The U.S. soldiers stationed across Iraqi bases are deployed as part of the broader international coalition, invited by the Iraqi government in 2014 to help fight Daesh.
The joint statement issued by the three leaders came hours after they spoke on the phone.
Earlier Sunday, a German government spokesman said the three leaders agreed to cooperate toward reducing tensions in the region.