German minister lands in Iran in bid to save nuclear pact

  • 00:55 10 June 2019

German minister lands in Iran in bid to save nuclear pact

Germany’s foreign minister 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 U.S.-Iranian tensions, ONA reports quoting Reuters.

A cautious thaw in relations between Tehran and Washington set in 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.