Paris, Jan 4 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin called on all parties to exercise restraint to avoid any new escalation after the killing of a top Iranian commander in a US airstrike in Iraq.

Over a phone call on Friday, Macron and Putin discussed the situation in Iraq and neighbouring countries and “agreed to stay in close contact for the next few days to avoid another dangerous escalation of tension,” the office of the French president said in a statement.

Macron stressed that 2015 nuclear deal signatories need to remain closely coordinated in order to call on Iran to quickly return to full compliance with its nuclear obligations and to refrain from any provocation, the statement added.

Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” after the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US Department of Defense said the strike was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

The German government on Friday also called for de-escalation following the killing of the Iranian commander.

“We are at a dangerous point of escalation, and it is now important to contribute to a de-escalation with prudence and restraint,” said Ulrike Demmer, deputy spokesperson of the German government.

“Regional conflicts can only be resolved through diplomatic channels, and we are in contact with our allies to this end,” she noted.




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