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British foreign minister arrives in the US for talks with Pompeo amid Iran crisis


British foreign minister arrives in the US for talks with Pompeo amid Iran crisis

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Photo: AP/Susan Walsh

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab will meet his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in Washington today, one day after Iran fired at least 20 short-range missiles at two US military bases in Iraq.

The attack was retaliation for the US drone strike that killed the commander of Iran’s expeditionary Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani.

Escalating violence in the Middle East has highlighted a growing divide between the US and its European allies over Iran. Pronouncements from European capitals have urged restraint and refrained from criticising Washington, but the actions of its leaders suggest discontent. French President Emmanuel Macron has had phone calls with the heads of state of Russia and Iran, and German PM Angela Merkel will fly to Moscow—not Washington—for a working meeting this week over resolving the escalating crisis.

Today’s meeting between Raab and Pompeo will likely lead to a condemnation of Iranian behaviour and a joint stance between the US and the UK over the countries’ military presence in Iraq. However, escalating violence in the Middle East will continue to alienate European countries uneasy with President Donald Trump’s decisions, including the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

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