By staff and agency

German FM to visit Iran on Monday

June 7, 2019

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will visit Iran as part of a three-country Middle East tour next week.

According to Reuters, German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said on Thursday that Maas will visit Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Tehran during which he will explore options for preserving a fraying nuclear deal with Tehran.

She added that the trip had been agreed and coordinated with Britain and France, both of which support the deal they signed with Iran.

Deutsche Welle reported that Maas will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.

On May 8, Iran officially announced that its “strategic patience” has come to an end as the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name for the 2015 nuclear agreement) have failed to compensate for the sanctions against Iran by the Trump administration. 

In the first step, Iran announced that it stops selling stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water for 60 days. However, Iran warned if a conclusion is not reached in this time period, it will take other measures step by step and will accelerate its uranium enrichment activities.

Under the JCPOA, Iran’s stockpile of low enriched uranium is capped at 300kg and heavy water reserve at 130 tons.

Jens Ploetner, the political director at the German Foreign Ministry, held talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Araghchi in Tehran in May. Ploetner said Germany will “remain committed” to the JCPOA.

Ploetner also said, “European countries will keep up their efforts and consultations aimed at meeting Iran’s demands and preserving the JCPOA.”

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put caps on its nuclear work in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal in May 2018 and ordered reimposition of sanctions against Iran. The first round of sanctions went into force on August 6 and the second round, which targets Iran’s oil exports and banks, were snapped back on November 4.

Also, on April 22 the U.S. announced that Washington has decided not to extend waivers allowing major importers to continue buying oil from Iran. The waivers ended on May 2.

NA/PA

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