German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday called on the US and Iran to “exercise utmost restraint” as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East.

The three leaders issued a joint statement saying there was “an urgent need for de-escalation” and that the “current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.”

The trio reiterated their “attachment to the sovereignty and security of Iraq,” saying that “another crisis risks jeopardizing years of efforts

to stabilize Iraq.”

In the statement, the leaders also called on Iran to refrain from any violence or nuclear activities and to reverse any measures that do not comply with the terms of the nuclear agreement.

Iran announced on Sunday it would no longer stick to the limits set out in the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) in retaliation over the killing of its top general, Qassem Soleimani on Friday by drone strike. The JCPOA was an agreement reached by the Obama administration, but US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the deal in 2018.

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas also released a statement on Sunday, calling on the EU to use its reliable channels of communication with all sides “to the full extent” concerning the current, fast-developing situation.

kmm/rt (Reuters,dpa)

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