Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Russia Confirms Lavrov-Pompeo Meeting in Sochi

Russia Confirms Lavrov-Pompeo Meeting in Sochi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called off a trip to Russian Federation and instead made an unscheduled visit to Brussels on Monday to hold talks with European Union officials on Iran amid renewed tensions in the Middle East, officials said.

European Union countries last week warned Iran not to row back on a pledge to restrict its nuclear programme after Tehran threatened to relax restrictions that could lead the country in breach of the 2015 agreement.

Iran's move came a few days after the USA administration renewed five of seven sanctions waivers that allow Russian Federation and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran but revoked the other two as part of its pressure campaign against Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on Saturday that such criticism - including from members of the previous administration - fails to recognize what Trump's team has done, or the missteps of past presidents.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday canceled his trip to Russian Federation amid rising tensions with Iran.

Pompeo was scheduled to visit US embassy staffers in Moscow before meeting Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, which is expected to continue as scheduled.

"That is why we will continue to support the implementation of this agreement". Based on preliminary assessments, Iran might even remain within the thresholds of the deal in the short run, further reducing the imminent nuclear threat posed.

"So we will be sharing those concerns with my European counterparts, with [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo", he added, speaking to Sky News as he arrived in Brussels.

Hook said Pompeo, while in Brussels, also discussed reported attacks on several oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had told Pompeo during their Monday meeting: "We do not want it to come to a military conflict (between the United States and Iran)".

Venezuela is only one of a slew of issues where the United States and Russian Federation have clashed.

"I urge you to make absolutely clear to President Putin that interference in USA elections will not be tolerated", Schumer stressed in the letter. "This is already the most unstable region in the world and this would be a massive step in the wrong direction".

Pompeo shared information on "escalating" threats from Iran during the meetings, the USA special representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters.

By threatening to back away from the nuclear deal last week, Iran seemed to reverse its yearlong policy of strategic patience.

Over the next few weeks, Iran will decide whether its existing strategy still serves its goal or, instead, escalation in the region better matches its national security interests.

It comes at a time of rising tensions in the Middle East between the United States and Iran.

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