Pompeo, for his part, shared information about "escalating" threats from Iran at the meeting in Brussels, according to his representative. Sputnik has discussed the meeting in the wake of the escalation between Iran and the United States with Sami Hamdi, Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest and geopolitical risk consultant.
Sputnik: The foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the UK have discussed Iran’s recent decision to stop implementing parts of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. What could the EU response be to the deadline Iran gave Europe to implement their commitments under the deal?
Iran will want more than that. The EU may make promises to develop its "clearing house" designed to circumvent US sanctions. Iran is unlikely to buy into that. However, Tehran’s options remain very limited and they may well accept the option to wait until the US elections.
Sputnik: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled his trip to Moscow to participate in talks with European officials on Iran in Brussels. Over the weekend the Pentagon deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Persian Gulf. How serious is the risk of escalation? If so, what could the long-term consequences be?
Sami Hamdi: Trump’s military policy is to get allies to do the fighting, not American troops. Trump has sought to wind down the conflict in Afghanistan through peace talks in a clear sign that his approach to foreign policy is a lot of bluster while committing as few resources as possible.
It is also worth remembering that Trump invited Iran for talks again regarding the nuclear deal and easing of sanctions while escalating the US military presence at the same time.
In light of the above, it is more likely that the deployment of forces is a show of force to push Iran into new talks.
Sputnik: Pompeo said in a statement on Thursday that Washington was ready to hit back fast and hard in retaliatory strikes against any attacks carried out by Iran or its regiional allies. Is there a real threat of a pre-emptive strike by the US or Iran amid bilateral threats?
I do not think there is a real threat of a pre-emptive strike.
Sputnik: How do you assess the EU's efforts to ensure that trade with Iran will continue despite the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic?
Sami Hamdi: The EU believes in the nuclear deal. However, it does not believe that establishing a parallel financial system is the solution. The EU prefers to continue lobbying Trump to alter his policy.
Although there have been attempts to establish a "clearing house", the EU is left with a dilemma whereby the US remains a far larger trading partner, and companies are unlikely to sacrifice that market for the sake of Iran.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.