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On Iran, US allies fear ‘maximum pressure’ could provoke escalation

While Iran continues to comply for now with the 2015 nuclear deal even after the reimposition of US sanctions, European allies fear that the US administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign could eventually lead to war.
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference following the United Nations Security Council meeting on Iran at the United Nations on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the UN Security Council today to impose tougher measures to restrain Iran’s ballistic missile activities, European allies said they doubt the Donald Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign will achieve its stated objective of a better agreement with Iran. Instead, they fear it is more likely over time to provoke Iran to lash out in ways that could lead to military escalation.

“Today, Iran has the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East,” Pompeo said at a UN Security Council session Dec. 12 on Resolution 2231 that enshrines the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “It has hundreds of missiles which pose a threat to our partners in the region,” Pompeo added.

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