• Saturday, Jun 25, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

German minister lands in Iran in bid to save nuclear pact

  • Published at 08:58 pm June 10th, 2019
Heiko Maas-Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after their meeting in Teheran, Iran, June 10, 2019 Reuters

Germany, France and Britain maintain that the nuclear pact remains the best way to limit Iran's enrichment of uranium, a potential pathway to the development of nuclear weapons

Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas has arrived in Tehran to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani on Monday, as part of a concerted European effort to preserve Iran's nuclear pact with world powers and defuse rising US-Iranian tensions.

A cautious thaw in relations between Tehran and Washington set in 2015 when Iran struck a deal with six big powers limiting its nuclear activity. But tensions with the United States have mounted again since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the accord in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions.

West European signatories, including Germany, want to try to keep the nuclear accord alive although they share the Trump administration's disquiet about Iran's ballistic missile program and its role in conflicts around in the Middle East.

Germany, France and Britain maintain that the nuclear pact remains the best way to limit Iran's enrichment of uranium, a potential pathway to the development of nuclear weapons.

A German diplomatic source confirmed that Foreign Minister Heiko Maas would meet his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and Rouhani on Monday.

Maas warned during a weekend stopover in Iraq en route to Tehran about the dangers of any conflict with Iran for the entire Middle East, and said the Europeans were convinced it was worth trying to keep the nuclear agreement with Iran.

In Abu Dhabi, he also sounded a warning to Iran.

"We are not prepared to have a discussion on 'less for less'," Maas told reporters, referring to Iran's decision to reciprocate for the reimposition of sanctions.

Scaling back

Last month, Iran scaled back some commitments under the 2015 deal and warned that in 60 days it would resume refining uranium to a higher fissile degree than that permitted by the accord if Europe failed to shield its trade from US sanctions.

Maas also said that, in his talks, he would stress his concerns about Iranian activity in Syria and Yemen.

"However, we think that this should take place as part of a dialogue," he said, adding he did not think a strategy of maximum pressure and threats was helpful.

Washington has sent more military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against what US officials call Iranian threats to US troops and interests in the region.

Iran has always said its nuclear activity is peaceful and refuses to put its missile and military capabilities on the negotiating table, as the Trump administration has demanded.

Zarif was quoted by Fars news agency on Sunday as saying Maas's visit showed Germany was trying to "keep the (nuclear deal) alive."

But, suggesting Iran did not view Maas as a mediator with Washington, he added: "It is unlikely that the German foreign minister is travelling to Tehran to carry a special message.”

Maas coordinated his trip with France and Britain, and also discussed it with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail