Amid the escalating tensions between Iran and the United States, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasised that the use of weapons must stop. She further said that, “We have established and time-tested relations with many actors in the region and beyond to de-escalate the situation”. In an earlier statement released by the Commission's website von der Leyen also declared a need 'to holt the cycle of violence', and further urged Iran to fully comply with the nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The use of weapons must stop NOW to give space for dialogue. We are called upon to do everything possible to rekindle talks. There cannot be enough of that.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 8, 2020
We have established and timetested relations with many actors in the region and beyond to de-escalate the situation.
The statement from the European Union came after the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq that houses the US and coalition forces were hit by multiple rockets during the wee hours on January 8. This incident was first reported by Iranian state TV, who described it as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani. This also follows the development where the pro-Tehran factions in Iraq vowed to join forces and respond to the US for the killing of Iranian General.
While speaking about the Middle East situation, EU Minister for Foreign Affairs also reportedly said that the situation is 'extremely worrying'. He further added that the current situation risks the efforts of the past years and also has implications for the important work of the anti-Daesh coalition. The EU has also urged Iran to stick to its commitment.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also said that Britain condemns Iranian missile attacks on military bases in Iraq that hosts US-led coalition forces including British personnel. He further also urged Iran to pursue urgent de-escalation and not to repeat such 'reckless and dangerous attacks'. Further China, Paris, Germany and Spain have also reportedly called on Iran to refrain from any measures that would further aggravate the tensions.
However, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has defended missile attack on US airbases in Iraq by calling it a "legitimate self-defence". Zarif told state TV that Iran's action was a legitimate self-defence and that Washington should avoid assessing it based on illusions. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei also said the country has delivered 'slap in face' to US. Khamenei, in a televised address, said that the US cut off Soleimani’s hand so Iran, in response, will cut their legs off in the region.