German government: We're working on maintaining legal channel for trade with Iran

Mike Pompeo and Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump is seeking to isolate Tehran by cutting off its oil exports after pulling out of a 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program.

The U.S. announced military reinforcements in the Middle East late last week.

This is coming on the heels of Tehran's plans last week to partially withdraw from a 2015 deal with major powers.

Mogherini said the talks would focus on "how to continue to best support the full implementation of the nuclear deal".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Arctic Council summit at the Lappi Areena in Rovaniemi, Finland May 7, 2019.

"E3" stands for Germany, France and Britain, which are parties to an worldwide treaty that seeks to lift trade barriers with Iran while preventing the country from developing nuclear weapons.

Pompeo's visit to Brussels was announced at the last minute and if he came hoping for a show of transatlantic unity against Iran, he was disappointed, with Britain, France and Germany all publicly criticising the hardline USA approach.

At least one, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said he feared that unintentional escalation from the USA and Iran could spark a conflict - an unusually bold statement that appeared to assign equal culpability to Washington and Tehran.

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In theory that probably means Pompeo brow-beating Russia over how Ukraine hasn't managed to crush the ethnic Russian region along the Russian border, something the U.S. has long had a problem with.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministries, Jeremy Hunt cautioned that a conflict between Washington and Tehran could further destabilize what is an already precarious situation in the Gulf.

"This agreement is an important milestone in nuclear non-proliferation", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France's Le Parisien newspaper in an interview published Saturday.

Britain, France and Germany voiced new support Monday for the global pact to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program, while warning the United States against increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf region with its show of military force and efforts to undermine the Iranian economy.

As a result, the top United States diplomat is scrapping a stop expected on Monday in Moscow.

Pompeo cancelled a visit to Moscow on Monday and stopped in Brussels instead, en route to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"The secretary wanted to share some details behind what we have been saying publicly", Hook said.

Despite heading the United States government, Trump is a major outlier in Washington, with virtually all senior administration officials including Pompeo and lawmakers across party lines advocating a harder stance on Russian Federation, including sanctions over election interference and its 2014 takeover of Crimea from Ukraine. "They have chosen poorly by focusing on threats".

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