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US and EU clash over Iran policy

US and EU officials were tight-lipped about the content of a breakfast meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini today which discussed policy on Iran, Venezuela and Russia.

The meeting followed Thursday night’s tirade by US Vice-President Mike Pence at a summit in Poland, in which he denounced Britain, France and Germany for not helping to enforce US sanctions on Iran and called on members of the EU to follow President Donald Trump’s lead in tearing up the nuclear agreement with the country.

The meeting gained notoriety when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu let slip that it was held “to advance the common interest of war with Iran.” 

Tel Aviv has since sought to downplay the incendiary remark.

Neither France nor Germany sent cabinet-level representatives to Poland in a sign that neither country is keen to align with Washington on Iran.

However they have thrown their weight behind its bid to overthrow Venezuela’s elected government.

It preceded a security conference that kicked off today in Munich, at which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that there was no point in talks with the Trump administration after it unilaterally walked out of the 2015 agreement, which exchanged sanctions relief in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its civil nuclear power programme. 

“Why should we negotiate? Why should we trust President Trump to abide by his own signature?” he asked.

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