EU foreign minister in US to discuss Iran, 'Deal of the Century'

Josep Borrell visits Washington following trip to Iran and his criticism of the Trump peace plan earlier in the week.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Josep Borrell
Josep Borrell
Reuters

Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell on Friday briefed US leaders on a trip to Iran aimed at easing tensions and discussed a US Middle East plan that he has denounced, AFP reports.

On his first trip to Washington since assuming his position in December, Borrell met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and said afterward they discussed "many things."

Asked by reporters as he exited if he spoke to Pompeo about Iran and the Middle East, Borrell replied, "Everything."

Borrell earlier this week visited Tehran where he met President Hassan Rouhani and voiced hope for an easing of tensions and preservation of a 2015 accord that sharply curtailed Iran's nuclear program.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

In one of the moves, the Islamic Republic restarted uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow facility in violation of the deal.

Britain, France and Germany have attempted to save the agreement, but recently triggered the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal that could eventually lead to reimposing UN sanctions on Iran.

While in Washington, Borrell will also meet with Trump's son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, the architect of a Middle East plan unveiled last week, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress.

Borrell earlier this week criticized Trump's Middle East initiative, saying the Israelis and Palestinians should directly negotiate a two-state solution based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

The US plan "departs from these internationally agreed parameters," Borrell said in a statement in which he added the European Union was "especially concerned" by Prime Minister Binyamin’s Netanyahu's push to apply sovereignty to Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

Borrell’s statement was issued after several European nations acted to prevent a declaration on behalf of all 27 members of the EU against the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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