EU committed to Iran nuclear deal despite Iran’s suspensions; Iranian magazine shut down after calling for negotiations with US; Israel’s Energy Minister: tension with Iran could result in missile attacks on Israel.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with EU officials on Iran in Brussels on Monday to be followed by meetings with Russian officials in Sochi on Tuesday, as tensions with Iran continue to escalate.

His meeting follows European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini’s remarks on Sunday that the EU is still committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, nuclear deal), despite Iran’s suspensions. She claimed, “We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will.” Last week, Iran suspended some commitments under the nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling on signatory states to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors which have been deeply affected by US sanctions. He gave a 60-day deadline.

The EU continues to support Iran and the JCPOA despite Iran’s open threats and violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Under the resolution, Iran is forbidden to produce, create or launch ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The deal, implemented in January of 2016, was signed by the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the United States. The US withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, under President Trump.

Following his time in Belgium, Pompeo will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and its Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Sochi on Tuesday, talks to center on Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile, Iran shut a magazine down in Tehran after it called for negotiations with the United States. The magazine, Seda, was suspended on Saturday after a Tehran court ruling over the weekend. Last week, the deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ political bureau, Yadollah Javani, reiterated that the Islamic Republic would never negotiate with the United States, claiming “We will not surrender”.

In an interview with Israeli media on Sunday, Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz addressed tension with Iran, referring to the situation as “heating up” and warning that it could lead to rocket fire on Israel from Iran or its proxies. He claimed, “If there’s some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States [or] between Iran and its neighbors, I’m not ruling out that they will activate Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel.”


Photo: Kanisorn Pringthongfoo/