Before his talks in Iran, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) called on the Tehran government to comply with the nuclear agreement. "A discussion 'less for less' is not one we'll be ready for," Maas said during a visit to Abu Dhabi. "Less for less" would mean that Iran no longer adheres to parts of the nuclear agreement because it will have to forego economic benefits from the new US sanctions. He hopes that both sides at the meeting on Monday "find constructive ways to obtain the agreement," said Maas. "Because I believe, in the end, Iran must also have a political interest in ensuring that this agreement continues in the future."
After years of negotiations, Iran had accepted a clear limitation of its nuclear program with the 2015 nuclear agreement. In return, the lifting of sanctions should boost the Iranian economy. However, this upswing was abruptly halted by US sanctions. One year ago, the USA declared its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Since then, tensions between the US and Iran are increasing.
Indirect criticism also of the USA
Since May all crude oil exports of Iran have been subject to harsh sanctions. In addition, the US increased their troops in the region, which aroused fear of a war. For Iran, oil exports are a vital source of income. The Tehran government has set a deadline for the other parties until July 7th. Until then, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain should guarantee the promised economic benefits for Iran and neutralize US sanctions. But that has not even come close. On the contrary: German trade with Iran, for example, is in sharp decline.
Maas landed on Sunday evening in Tehran, where he wants to meet with Iranian President Hassan Ruhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Sarif on Monday to defuse the conflict and secure the nuclear deal.
Germany has always indicated that it sees Iran's activities in Syria or Yemen as critical as its missile program, Maas said. This has also been made clear to the Iranian government on all occasions, and it will do so again in Tehran. "We believe, however, that this is happening in the dialogue," he said, indirectly criticizing the US: "He has great doubts about a strategy of maximum pressure and permanent threats. Germany was of the opinion that diplomacy must take precedence.
Sarif had urged the German government and other contracting parties to implement the nuclear agreement. "In the nuclear agreement, results are important, and what exactly the contracting parties have achieved to save the deal," said Sarif on Sunday, according to state news agency Irna.
Maas is on a four-day trip to the Middle East. He has already visited Jordan and, surprisingly, Iraq. There he called for a de-escalation and stressed the importance of the Bundeswehr's role in the fight against the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS).