German Spokeswoman: Europe Wants to Break ‘Negative Spiral’ On Iran
German Foreign Heiko Maas met with his French and British counterparts − Jean-Yves Le Drian and Dominic Raab –in Berlin on Monday to discuss the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement with Iran and how to proceed with the other participants in the agreement, including the incoming United States administration led by President-elect Joe Biden.
“From our point of view, Iran is systematically violating the agreement,” the German Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Andrea Sasse told reporters. “Together with our European partners, we urge Iran to stop these violations and fully comply with all nuclear obligations.” The German Foreign Ministry confirmed the three European foreign ministers wanted to talk about the role of the new US administration in the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
Biden pledged during the election campaign that he would return the US to the JCPOA, which was signed in Vienna in 2015 by Iran, the US, China, Russia and the three European states. Since President Donald Trump in 2018 pulled the US out of the deal and imposed draconian sanction on Iran, Tehran has extended its nuclear program beyond limits laid down by the deal.
“We are confident that a constructive stance by the US on the Vienna nuclear agreement could make a significant contribution to breaking the current negative spiral that we are observing with Iran and open up and new prospects for the preservation of the JCPOA,” Sasse added.
With Biden’s electoral victory, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has expressed Iran’s support for reviving the JCPOA. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always adhered to its commitments when all sides responsibly implement their commitments,” he said. “Our aim is to lift sanctions and have constructive engagement with the world, and whenever and wherever there is an opportunity for this we will take actions for it.”
Commenting on possible new US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration before it leaves office on January 20, the German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “such measures will be evaluated when it comes to that.” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has in recent days visited Turkey, Israel, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Golan, and Saudi Arabia, where he discussed Iran with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and – according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz – the secretly-flown-in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.