MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. The European Union’s idea to invite Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Brussels for talks on de-escalation in Iraq seems too clumsy and looks like "summoning for questioning," Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, said on Sunday.
"The European Union has sent an invitation for the Iranian foreign minister to visit Brussels with the aim to ‘hold talks on the situation in the Middle East after the US air strikes.’ Along with this, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell voiced his ‘concern’ about the killing of IRGC General Qasem Soleimani [the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force - TASS]. To my mind, this rather clumsy initiative looks like summoning for questioning," Kosachev wrote on Facebook.
The lawmaker believes that "amid this explosive situation" a more responsible option for Brussels would have been to invite, instead of Zarif, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "as the man of the hour" with the aim "to explain to him that following these adventurous actions, Washington has placed its European and regional allies in a predicament."
Moreover, according to the senator, as an option, the European Union could have "dispatched Josep Borrell to Tehran today in case the EU is so eager to assume the role of a peacekeeper."
"It should have seemed at least outwardly decent. In my opinion, Brussels has chosen the worst scenario from all the available options so far," the chairman of the international affairs committee of the upper house of Russia’s parliament said.
According to the statement released on Sunday by the European External Action Service, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Brussels to discuss de-escalation in Iraq and the Iran nuclear deal (or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA).
Earlier, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS that the European Union feared that confrontation between Iran and the United States could cause the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal.
On January 3, the Pentagon reported that a missile strike near Baghdad’s airport had killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force. According to the US Administration, the operation was defensive, as it was aimed at protecting US troops stationed in the Middle East. According to Washington, the attacks planned by the Iranian general could have led to the deaths of hundreds of Americans and Iraqis.
After the attack, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council vowed at an emergency session to exact "severe revenge" on those involved in the killing of Soleimani, blaming the US for the attack. In a telephone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bashed the attack as an act of terrorism by the US.