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German FM Maas to visit Iran for nuclear talks

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during the weekly press conference in Berlin on 8 May, 2019 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during the weekly press conference in Berlin on 8 May, 2019 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will visit Iran next week for talks on regional issues and the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal, his spokeswoman said on Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Maria Adebahr said Maas will travel to Tehran on Monday, as part of a Middle East tour.

“You know our position, we are trying to keep the nuclear deal alive, because we believe that it’s a good agreement,” she said, adding that the visit was coordinated with other EU major powers France and the U.K.

During his first official trip to Tehran, Maas is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and other senior officials.

Despite US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran with new sanctions, EU heavyweights — Germany, France and the UK — continue to back the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Iran doesn’t want to clash with states, powers: Rouhani

The agreement foresees lifting economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian purposes.

Earlier this month, Iran sharply criticised world powers for not fulfilling their promises and threatened to abandon parts of the nuclear deal.

The agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed between Iran and Russia, China, France, the UK, and the US, plus Germany.

Last year, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal and intensified pressure on Tehran by re-imposing sanctions targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.

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