EU Cautious About Gulf Tensions; Frets About Iran Nuclear Deal

E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the Munich Security Conference in 2016. (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images)

Berlin ( – The European Union remained tight-lipped Monday on the tense situation in the Persian Gulf region, but called for de-escalation as it continues efforts to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran. On Monday, the Iranian regime announced that it will in the coming days exceed the 300 kilogram limit of low-enriched uranium (LEU), set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement. Not only would the limit be exceeded, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told Iranian television, but the pace of production beyond that point would be increased “drastically.” It’s the latest scaling back of Tehran’s commitments under the JCPOA, whose future has been in the balance since President Trump withdrew unilaterally in May last year. Iran previously warned the E.U. that it would increase uranium enrichment, should the E.U. fail to find a way to salvage the deal in light of restored U.S. sanctions. The move comes amid new tensions in the region, following armed incidents including attacks on tankers which the U.S. and Britain are blaming on Iran. After a meeting of E.U. foreign ministers in Brussels, E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters, “Our focus is to keep the agreement in place and keep the implementation of it.”