BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The European Union fully backs Iraq’s efforts to de-escalate growing tensions between the United States and Iran because conflict will have dire consequences for all sides, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Saturday.
Speaking at a news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim during a visit to Baghdad, Mogherini said the bloc appreciated and supported Iraq’s policy of pursuing good relations with all its neighbours and warned against “dangerous adventures” in the region.
“The minister and I talked at length about the increasing tensions around Iraq and the need first and foremost to avoid escalation, avoid any miscalculation, that could lead to very dangerous consequences; first and foremost for Iraq but also beyond that,” she said.
Mogherini’s trip comes at a time of heightened Iranian-U.S. tensions. The U.S. blames Iran for several recent attacks on oil tankers and the two foes came close to direct military conflict last month when Iran shot down a U.S. drone and President Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off minutes before impact.
Trump withdrew the United States last year from a 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to curb its nuclear programme. Washington has sharply tightened sanctions on Iran, which has responded by stepping up uranium enrichment beyond limits set by the deal.