French nationals urged to avoid travelling to Iran, Iraq

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Paris, Jan 16 | French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday called on all citizens who plan to fly to Iraq and Iran to postpone their travels due to high risk of violence and instability in the region.

Speaking at a hearing of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, France’s top diplomat warned that “the situation remains extremely volatile”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are not witnessing a de-escalation but an interruption of the escalation. It only takes an event… provocation to find ourselves again in a context of escalation,” he said.

Given the risk of insecurity in the region, Le Drian called on French nationals to “exercise the utmost vigilance” and asked them to “postpone their non-essential travel in Iran and Iraq”.

After its unilateral exit in 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Washington has been mounting pressure on Tehran through a series of sanctions. Tehran has maintained a tough stance and scaled back its nuclear commitments in response.

Tension between the US and Iran flared further after the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimali in a US airstrike in Baghdad early this month, putting the region’s stability, already weakened by year-long war with fighters of the Islamic State, on edge.

Source: IANS

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