European Allies Warn US Over Tensions With Iran

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According to German's DPA news agency, foreign ministers of Germany, France and United Kingdom, as the three European signatories to the JCPOA, as well as EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will hold a special session today to discuss the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which has been in shambles since President Donald Trump withdrew USA from it and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

Federica Mogherini said: "We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will".

Pompeo cancelled a visit to Moscow on Monday and stopped in Brussels instead, en route to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"We are very anxious about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict", Jeremy Hunt said in Brussels prior to a summit of European Union foreign ministers.

On Friday, the U.S. Pentagon announced it was sending a warship loaded with military vehicles and missiles, adding to the aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers that have already been deployed to the region.

The EU and the British, French and German governments - the bloc's three national signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement - are struggling to hold it in place after Iran last week gave them a 60-day ultimatum for an economic lifeline.

"We are very anxious about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended on either side but ends with some kind of conflict", Hunt said. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called to reckon with the changing military-political situation in the world, as well as with the USA withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, when making decisions about the development of the defense sector.

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The EU is trying to implement a new channel to allow Iran to sell its oil and circumvent newly-instated USA sanctions, but setting it up is proving complex.

As the US sanctions bite, domestic pressure is increasing on Rouhani to demonstrate that Iran can still benefit from an agreement based on providing it with economic opportunities in exchange for limiting nuclear development.

Pompeo also discussed reported attacks on several oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Iran responded by declaring it will scale back compliance with parts of the nuclear deal.

Iran's announcement on Wednesday, related to curbs on its stockpiling of nuclear materials, was in response to USA sanctions imposed following Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the accord with Tehran a year ago.

Tensions have been brewing between the USA and Iran, two nuclear-armed nations, with the Americans accusing the Middle Eastern power of preparing "imminent attacks to US interests in the region".

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