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British official to visit Iran amid tensions

Andrew Murrison
Andrew Murrison
A British minister of state for the Middle East, Andrew Murrison, will travel to Iran on Sunday to discuss the escalating tensions in the Arab Gulf region, with senior Iranian officials.

A department statement said that Murrison will call for an urgent ‘de-escalation’ of the current crisis,  amid British concerns about Iran’s failure to comply with the nuclear deal to which the UK remains fully committed.

"At this time of increased regional tensions and at a crucial period for the future of the nuclear deal, this visit is an opportunity for further open, frank and constructive engagement with the government of Iran," the statement added.

US president Donald Trump said on Friday, June 21st, that the U S pulled back at the last minute from striking Iran, in response to Tehran shooting down an unmanned American drone.

Iran downed an American drone on Thursday June 20th,  which Iran claims violated its airspace which Washington denies. The tensions in the Arab Gulf region were spiked with the downing of the drone, after a series of attacks on oil tankers that the US has blamed on Tehran.

Britain and the US are at odds over the nuclear deal they both signed with Iran, with Trump pulling out last year.