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Ahead of EU talks, UK calls for reduced tensions with Iran

Ahead of EU talks, UK calls for reduced tensions with Iran

Iran has threatened to suspend its compliance with several limits on its nuclear programme agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers until they deliver on promised sanctions relief. (Photo: AFP/HO)

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday (Jul 15) that Iran's actions were "profoundly destabilising" but said he wanted to reduce tensions in the Middle East, ahead of talks with his EU counterparts.

"Heading to Brussels for urgent talks on how to reduce tensions with Iran," Hunt tweeted.

"Their approach to Mid East has been profoundly destabilising but we want to reduce not raise tensions over Grace 1 and avoid a nuclearised region.

"But a deal is a deal and if one side breaches it ..."

Washington has pulled out of the deal, to the dismay of its European allies who also signed the accord.

Angered that its beleaguered economy is not receiving sanctions relief it believes was promised under the deal, Iran has intensified its sensitive uranium enrichment work, prompting warnings from Washington.

Britain was drawn into the row when officials in its tiny territory of Gibraltar seized an Iranian oil tanker, "Grace One", earlier this month.

US officials believe the tanker was destined for Syria to deliver oil, in violation of sanctions, but Tehran reacted with anger.

READ: With Iran deal teetering on brink, Europeans assess next steps

In a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, Hunt said the tanker would be released following guarantees on its destination.

Source: AFP/hw


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