Iran: High Representative Josep Borrell Spoke with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

January 5, 2020

High Representative Josep Borrell spoke this weekend with the Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif about recent developments in Iraq, the need for de-escalation of tensions in the region and the importance of preserving the JCPOA. Josep Borrell expressed his deep concern about the latest increase of violent confrontations in Iraq, including the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. He urged Iran to exercise restraint and carefully consider any reaction to avoid further escalation, which harms the entire region and its people. The High Representative offered his full engagement to contribute to de-escalation. He stressed that ultimately, a regional political solution was the only way forward and that the EU was ready to support this. During their call, High Representative Borrell and Minister Zarif discussed also the importance of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), which continues to be a corner stone of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and instrumental for the security of the region and the world. The High Representative confirmed his resolve to continue to fully play his role as coordinator and keep the unity of the remaining participants in support of the agreement and its full implementation by all parties. Josep Borrell invited the Iranian Foreign Minister to Brussels to continue their engagement on these matters. The conversation with Minister Zarif took place in the context of phone calls High Representative Borrell has had since Friday with Foreign Ministers of number of countries of the EU and in the region to discuss the recent events and steps to de-escalate the tensions.