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Iran and US in full on collision rate; emergency meeting EU and NATO

Josep Borell, the European High Representative for Foreign Policy, has invited the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, to come to Brussels. It is not yet known whether and when Iran will accept the invitation. The aim is to 'de-escalate' the situation in the Middle East following the deadly attack by the United States on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

In the Belgian capital, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has convened the members of the NATO Council for urgent deliberation, which is to take place today. The session of the Israeli security cabinet scheduled for Sunday on the possible consequences of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by the US army has been postponed to Monday. Israeli media report that.

Reportedly, the meeting will focus on how Israel can prepare for possible revenge actions by Iran against Israeli targets. Israel has been in a state of readiness since the United States deadly attack in Baghdad.

Iran announced on Sunday that it no longer feels committed to the 2015 international atomic agreement. That decision could mean that Tehran will continue its nuclear program without restrictions and will continue to further enrich uranium.

EU Commissioner Borrell announces his invitation to Iran the day after a telephone conversation with Zarif. In that telephone conversation, the High Representative emphasized "the importance for the de-escalation of tensions, to exercise restraint and to prevent further escalation."

Borrell also said he urged Zarif to maintain the historic 2015 nuclear agreement (with the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany). US President Donald Trump unilaterally canceled that treaty of his predecessor Obama in May 2018 and imposed sanctions against Iran. He also threatens to impose sanctions against (European) companies that do not join the American boycott.

During the rising tensions between the US and Iran in the course of last year, those in power in Tehran had already speculated about partial withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement in Vienna. More than a year and a half ago, the US unilaterally canceled it and imposed economic sanctions against Iran.

In spite of these measures, the Islamic Republic continued to stick to the atomic agreement for a long time, while the European signatories tried to honor the agreements on trade, among other things, despite the reprisals of the US. Last year, however, Tehran began violating the terms of the deal with the world powers by enriching more uranium to higher concentrations than permitted. That brings the production of nuclear weapons closer.

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