Britain warns US of ‘unintended’ escalation in conflict with Iran as Trump sends bombers to the Gulf
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned US officials about what he says could become an unintended escalation of conflict in the Persian Gulf.
"We need to make sure that we don’t end up putting Iran back on the path to re-nuclearisation,” he told reporters on Monday, before meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and EU foreign ministers.
The meeting was scheduled to reportedly discuss the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East shortly after Donald Trump ordered US warplanes and an aircraft carrier to the increasingly unstable region.
“We are very worried about a conflict, and the risk of a conflict … of an escalation that is unintended,” Mr Hunt said after arriving in Brussels, according to Reuters.
Mr Hunt also called for “a period of calm so that everyone understands what the other side is thinking.”
Despite US efforts to dismantle the Iran Nuclear Deal under Mr Trump, EU and German officials said on Monday they remained committed to the pact — so long as Iran continued complying with international inspections.
“No one wants Iran to be in possession of a nuclear bomb,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, describing the deal as “necessary for our security.”
The EU has reportedly faced difficulties establishing a process for Iran to continue selling its oil under recent US sanctions.
Additional details surrounding the bilateral meetings on Monday were not immediately clear.
Iran, meanwhile, has decried the Trump administration’s move to send bombers to the region, saying it amounts to “psychological warfare.”
Mr Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after the meetings in Brussels with EU officials.