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Iranian Foreign Minister holds talks with EAM Sushma Swaraj

The Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit comes, 12 days after six-month-long exemptions from US sanctions to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran ended. It gains even greater importance in light of the build up of tensions in the gulf region between US-and Iran.

Meanwhile, European diplomats urged the United States to exercise “maximum restraint” as tensions mount in the Gulf a year after Washington withdrew from a landmark deal that curbed Iran’s nuclear programme.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s diplomatic chief, stressed the need for dialogue following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made a last-minute visit to Brussels on Monday to share information on “escalating” threats from Iran.

The US has re-imposed punishing sanctions on Iran since its unilateral exit from the nuclear deal, negotiated between Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

Last week, Washington sent naval vessels and bombers to the Middle East citing unspecified threats from Tehran. Iran responded by declaring it will scale back compliance with parts of the nuclear deal.

Mogherini said the EU continues to fully support the accord, which imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in India has blamed US for the escalation.
 

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