Turkey said that it will try to de-escalate the soaring tensions between Iran and the United States and will do anything it can, to ‘reduce the cycle of violence’. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reportedly revealed that Ankara has been in touch with both parties after the top commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force was killed by US forces.
Cavusoglu held phone calls with his Iranian and US counterparts to discuss the issue and said that current escalation would be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Turkey on January 8. He informed that he has also discussed the issue with Russia, Britain, Qatar, Pakistan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Iraq has asked foreign military forces to leave the country but Cavusoglu opined that it would strengthen radical groups in the region.
While leaders from around the world have avoided taking sides with calls of restraint, China has held the United States responsible for the escalation in the aftermath of the Iranian General’s killing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the decision of the Trump administration to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal is the primary cause of nuclear tension.
The spokesperson said that even after Iran was forced to reduce the compliance of the nuclear deal due to external factors, the country has been displaying restraint and “had clearly expressed its political will to comprehensively implement the deal”. He emphasised that Iran is not violating its obligation to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) since it was Trump administration who defied its international responsibilities by withdrawing from the deal.
In 2015, Iran reached a historic nuclear deal with P5+1 group which included the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. Iran, under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed to limit sensitive nuclear activities in lieu of lifting economic sanctions. But the US-Iran relation worsened when the Trump administration, in May 2018, unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal accusing Iran of violating the terms of JCPOA and followed it with crippling economic sanctions.