Iran's Rouhani, EU's Michel confer on recent developments in region

January 10, 2020 - 15:4

TEHRAN- In a phone conversation on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and European Council President Charles Michel conferred on the recent developments in West Asia, including the U.S. assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and new sanctions on the Islamic Republic by Washington.

General Soleimani was assassinated in a U.S. air raid near the Baghdad international airport on January 3 upon direct order by Donald Trump. In retaliation on January 8, on the dead of the night, the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired several ballistic missiles at the U.S. Ain al-Assad airbase in southwestern Iraq.

In the phone conversation, Rouhani said, "The European Union is a major power in the world with a heavy responsibility and if it wants to contribute to regional peace and stability, Tehran is ready to cooperate with it."

"Iran and Europe want stability in the region and strengthening of the JCPOA (the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal), and it is very important for us that Europe, China, and Russia play their important role in preserving the JCPOA in order to secure Iran's interests," Rouhani remarked.

Rouhani said the five steps by Iran to reduce its JCPOA commitments are intended to create a balanced situation, adding, "Iran will continue to cooperate with the (the International Atomic Energy) Agency".

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.
"The U.S. committed economic terrorism by stepping up economic sanctions against Iran even on medicine and food and violated all international regulations by assassinating Iran's major commander, and Europe must respond to these U.S. terrorist acts," Rouhani pointed out.

For his part, Michel said, "Europe is making every effort to play a positive role in global and regional political dynamics, and has repeatedly called on the United States in recent days to avoid further escalation of tensions in the region." 

He added, "We are concerned about developments in the region and invite all parties to exercise restraint." 

Iran has threatened that any further “mischief” by the Trump administration will face a “harsher and more painful” response. 

MJ/PA

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