“I call on the Iraqi factions to be deliberate, patient, and not to start military actions, and to shut down the extremist voices of some rogue elements until all political, parliamentary and international methods have been exhausted,” he was quoted as saying.
Pope Francis referred to the conflict on Thursday during an annual address to ambassadors to the Vatican. He said the tensions risked “compromising the gradual process of rebuilding in Iraq, as well as setting the groundwork for a vaster conflict that all of us would want to avert.” Francis appealed to the parties to return to “dialogue and self-restraint.”
The United Nations Security Council said it would meet on Thursday, and the tensions between Iran and the United States were likely to dominate an agenda tackling international peace and security.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, the European Union’s decision-making body, said he had spoken to Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, on Thursday, according to a statement, and “expressed hopes that there will be no further attempts to increase tensions in the region leading to a de-escalation of the situation.”
The statement also noted that the European Union was dedicated to preserving the 2015 nuclear agreement Iran had negotiated with the governments of the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — an agreement that Mr. Trump has denounced and abandoned.
In his speech on Wednesday pulling back from the brink of war, Mr. Trump appeared to open a small window for diplomacy with Iran even as he urged other countries to turn their backs on the nuclear agreement and promised further, unspecified sanctions against Iran.
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, said Mr. Trump’s offer to cooperate with Iran was “unbelievable” and that negotiations between the two countries would be meaningless if the United States continued aggression against Iran. The American sanctions against Iran amounted to “economic terrorism,” he added in an interview with the Iranian state news outlet IRNA.