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 Full text 
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Situation in Iran and Iraq following recent escalations (debate)

  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, over the past two years we have seen Iran and the US climb up a very dangerous ladder of escalation that has led to the killing of Soleimani and the downing by Iran of the Ukrainian airliner.

I want to make two points here. First, no one can deny that Soleimani played a hugely destructive role in the region and, indeed, had the blood of innocent people on his hands. And second, I do believe that Europe needs a US that is fully engaged in international affairs and is ready to take on tyrants and bullies on the global scene.

However, I believe it is also absolutely critical that the US play that global role in a responsible manner fully consistent with international law and international norms. Moreover, when it takes action that is bound to have such monumental consequences, these actions had better be part of a comprehensive and realistic strategy.

Another violent conflict spiralling out of control in a region that is already turbulent and unstable is the very last thing we need. We as the EU need to fully use what few levers we have at our disposal to de-escalate this extremely explosive situation. And we should put our confidence in the efforts of the High Representative to work towards that end, including by trying to keep the JCPOA alive.

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