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Germany's Maas in Tehran to try find 'constructive ways' to salvage nuclear deal

Heiko Maas

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is set to meet with Iranian officials on June 10 to explore options for preserving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Maas late on June 9 landed in Tehran, where he is expected to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rohani.

Ahead of his trip, Maas expressed hope that the talks will help both sides find "constructive ways" to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement.

Zarif said he wanted to know "what exactly the partners have achieved to rescue" the accord.

The Western European signatories to the nuclear pact -- France, Britain, and Germany -- have been trying to salvage it after the United States’ withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump argued that the terms of the agreement were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and did not address the country's ballistic-missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.

The European signatories of the deal share the same concerns as Washington over Iran’s ballistic-missile development and regional activities.

Iran denies it supports insurgent activity and says its nuclear program has been strictly for civilian energy purposes.

Last month, Tehran announced it was suspending several commitments under the nuclear deal, and threatened to step up uranium enrichment if European countries did not act to protect it from the effects of the U.S. sanctions.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington and its allies in the Arabian Gulf have flared up in recent weeks, with the United States beefing up its military presence in the Middle East, citing " imminent threats" from Iran.

Tehran has rejected the U.S. allegation.

Last Modified: Monday، 10 June 2019 01:38 PM