Europe Urges Restraint as Pompeo Talks Up US Escalation With Iran

EU diplomatic chief calls for dialogue to avoid war

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alienated Germany by cancelling a visit to stop off in Iraq, and talk up a war with Iran to the Iraqis. This week, Pompeo cancelled a Russia trip and went to Europe to detail continued escalation against Iran.

Pompeo’s plans to keep ratcheting up tensions while Trump threatens to ensure the Iranians “suffer greatly” aren’t sitting well with European officials. Instead, a flurry of European officials issued statements expressing concern that the US might start a war “by accident.”

Broadly, officials are calling on the US to exercise some restraint. Top EU diplomatic official Federica Mogherini in particular urged the US to engage in dialogue with the Iranians to try to avoid an undesirable war.

This doesn’t seem to have been the idea for Pompeo, who went into the Europe talks seemingly to sell those countries on the ongoing US moves against Iran, in hopes they’d back US demands to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

None of that ended up happening, and Pompeo’s presentation seems to have officials from the major EU nations, Britain, France, and Germany, all united in favoring the nuclear deal, favoring diplomacy, and opposing a US military confrontation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of