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EU Invites Iran Foreign Minister To Brussels In Bid To Save Nuclear Agreement

The interior of the Fordow Uranium Conversion Facility in Qom, November 6, 2019.

The European Union on Sunday said it has invited the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif to Brussels to discuss the heightened tension between the U.S. and Iran and rescuing the 2015 nuclear agreement with the world powers.

The invitation to Zarif was extended by the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell during a phone conversation on Sunday who said a regional diplomatic solution was "the only way forward".

Borrell also stressed that he was determined to keep the unity of the remaining participants in the nuclear agreement and its full implementation by all parties," an EU press release said.

France, Germany and China called on Iran to refrain from taking any action that would violate the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) in the wake of the attack that killed Iran's Qods Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad two days ago but Iran appears to be taking a step towards further reduction of its commitments under the agreement.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that an important meeting will be held later in the evening to determine Iran’s policies regarding taking the 5th step in. reducing JCPOA compliance.

"I think what happens tonight [in the meeting of the Supreme National Security Council] will show what the Islamic Republic of Iran will do regarding the JCPOA and the next step which may change the decisions taken before," Mousavi said in his press conference.

The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the agreement a year ago and has since then re-introduced tough sanctions against Iran.

In an interview with Fox News the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday suggested that Britain, France and Germany have fallen short of showing enough support for the U.S. following the attack in Iraq that killed Soleimani.

Pompeo said U.S. partners "in the region", supposedly Israel and Saudi Arabia, had been "fantastic" and added: “Frankly, the Europeans haven’t been as helpful as I wish that they could be. The Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did, what the Americans did, saved lives in Europe as well."

Russia has also expressed concerns about the fate of the nuclear agreement. The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Mikhail Ivanovich Ulyanov on Sunday called on Iran and the European sides to show self-restraint and act reasonably to save the Iran nuclear deal.