The European Union offered its “full engagement” to dialogue with the Iranian regime despite the fact that Britain, Germany, and France aligned themselves with the United States in their confrontation with Tehran.
On Sunday, European Union (EU) foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell reported that Brussels is preparing to receive Iranian foreign affairs chief Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Borrell’s statement contrasts with the position of the influential member states that support the bombing by U.S. armed forces that ended up killing the powerful Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
Soleimani, the second most influential man in Iran, was killed in a drone attack ordered by President Donald Trump, who said that the military leader represented a threat to his country.
In a statement, the EU said that Borrell had a phone call with Zarif to discuss tensions in the Middle East.
The bloc said, “Josep Borrell expressed his deep concern about the latest increase of violent confrontations in Iraq, including the killing of General Qassem Soleimani.”
“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,” he added.
During the call, Borrell urged Iran to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), which lifts sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran stopping its nuclear program.
The JCPOA is the nuclear agreement signed between the world powers and Tehran. The United States left the pact, hand in hand with Donald Trump, after demonstrating that the Iranian regime had not kept its word by continuing to enrich uranium for war purposes.
After the U.S.-led attack, Iran announced that it was withdrawing from the agreement.
Borrell’s statements contrast with the unanimous position of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, all of whom openly supported the attack that ended General Soleimani’s life.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the British people will not regret the assassination of Soleimani.
“General Qasem Soleimani represented a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a disturbing and destabilizing pattern of behavior in the region,” Johnson said.
“Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and Western personnel, we will not lament his death,” Johnson said, according to an Express report.
According to the British newspaper, Johnson made phone calls to the EU’s “heavyweights,” French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as to President Trump.
Macron, expressed “his concern regarding the destabilizing activities of the Quds force under General Qassem Soleimani and highlighted the need for Iran … to avoid taking any measures that could lead to an escalation in the situation and destabilizing the region,” the Elysée Palace reported after a call with President Trump, Reuters reported.
A joint statement from London, Paris, and Berlin also insisted that it is up to Iran to act now to reduce tensions and show a degree of restraint after the U.S. air strikes.
“We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA,” the statement quoted by Express said.
Is the EU pro-Iran?
The position of Borrell, who took over as the EU’s foreign affairs chief a month ago, differs from that of the major member countries and this could be explained by the international policy pursued by the political party to which he belongs.
Borrell is a well-known member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). The PSOE has just formed a coalition government with UNIDAS PODEMOS, a communist group that has openly supported Iran and other authoritarian regimes, such as that of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration showed that PODEMOS has been financed by Tehran through the Hispan TV channel, which is owned by Iranian businessman Mahmoud Alizadeh Azimi, according to the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.