E.U. foreign ministers to hold emergency meeting Friday to respond to Iran crisis

E.U. foreign ministers to hold emergency meeting Friday to respond to Iran crisis

06/01 - 16:00 - European Union foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Friday in Brussels to discuss how to respond to the escalating crisis with Iran, diplomats said Monday, including whether Europe starts the process that could lead to the eventual reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

Brussels — The unusual gathering will give Europeans a chance to coordinate plans among all 28 member states. Leaders have been reluctant to publicly condemn the United States for Soleimani’s killing, focusing most of their ire on Iran, which they view as the core threat to their security interests. But they have invested more than a year of efforts to try to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal following Trump’s pullout. Many European diplomats view Soleimani’s death as the final blow to hopes that the accord could hold together until the possible election in November of a U.S. president more supportive of the nuclear agreement than Trump.

Iran on Sunday announced that it would take major additional steps to depart from the terms of the nuclear accord, although it stopped short of saying it would significantly increase its uranium enrichment. Europeans took that as a sign that Tehran is still interested in extracting concessions in exchange for returning to at least partial adherence to the deal, rather than walking away from it altogether.

Triggering the process that could lead to the reimposition of sanctions would entail additional months of negotiations. If sanctions were reimposed, that would likely mark the end of any effort by Iran to uphold the deal.

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