Today, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, issued a personal invitation to his counterpart in Tehran in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East. However, key member states – Germany, France and the UK – refused to shed a tear for the death of General Soleimani, a top Iranian general who was widely seen as the second most powerful figure in Iran. He was assassinated in a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump last week, as he held the military leader and the Quds Force responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US personnel.
A statement issued by the bloc reads: “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.”
Despite the warm embrace from Brussels, London, Berlin and Paris decided to take a difference approach following a weekend of threats of war.
A joint statement by London, Paris and Berlin insisted it is Iran that should now move to de-escalate the tensions and show a degree of restraint after the US airstrikes.
It is not the first time EU leaders have sided with the US over Iran.
In 2007, after the Islamic Republic arrested a British Navy and Marines boat team, European national governments heavily condemned the country’s “irresponsible” actions and offered “unconditional support” to the UK.
According to a report by the Sunday Express, European Foreign Ministers had threatened to take “appropriate” measures if the 15 Britons were not released.
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