German FM stresses EU pursuit of dialogue with Iran
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stresses the European Union’s pursuit of dialogue with Iran continuing to reject ‘rhetorical provocation’ against the Islamic Republic.
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In a Saturday interview with German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Maas said that Germany was still bemused by a US decision last year to withdraw from a 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities.
“It still remains incomprehensible for us that the Americans have unilaterally pulled out of this agreement,” said Maas.
The top German diplomat said that the EU parties to Iran nuclear agreement, namely Germany, France and Britain, believed that US strategy of imposing maximum pressure on Tehran would go nowhere.
“We Europeans firmly believe that the strategy of maximum pressure on Iran won’t help. We emphasize dialog rather than rhetorical provocation,” said Maas.
He also warned against “unforeseen events” that could lead to a conflict between Iran and the United States.
Maas reiterated his country’s position on Iran’s recent announcement to suspend parts of its commitments under the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He said Iran was supposed to observe its full responsibilities under the JCPOA without cutting back on any of its commitments.
The comments came less than two weeks after Iran announced it would halt selling its excess enriched uranium and heavy water, as stipulated in the JCPOA, in a bid to force parties to the agreement to respect their obligations and try to salvage the agreement in the face of increasing US sanctions on Tehran.
Iran has also warned it would restart its uranium enrichment program if signatories to the JCPOA other than the US, which also includes Russia and China, do nothing to allow Iran enjoy the economic benefits of the agreement.