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Terrorists may provoke US-Iran war: German FM

Situation ‘extremely dangerous’, says Heiko Maas, urging Washington and Tehran to de-escalate tensions

Ayhan Şimşek   | 21.05.2019
Terrorists may provoke US-Iran war: German FM

BERLIN

Terrorist groups may use escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran as an opportunity to provoke a war between the two countries, Germany’s foreign minister warned Tuesday. 

Speaking during a panel discussion in Hamburg, Heiko Maas described the situation in the Middle East as “extremely dangerous” and urged the two countries to calm down.

“This is a region where terrorist groups are active. Terrorists may launch attacks to escalate violence and provoke a war,” he said.

“And it would not be only the U.S. and Iran participating in such a war, but this would rapidly put the entire region in flames.”

Maas reaffirmed Germany’s continued commitment to a diplomatic solution to resolve disagreements with Iran over its nuclear program and its influence in the region.

Recent weeks have seen steadily mounting tensions between Tehran and the Washington.

On Sunday, following a rocket attack near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, President Donald Trump told Iran not to threaten the U.S., saying it will be Tehran's "official end".

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Trump tweeted, without elaborating.

Last week, the U.S. deployed a carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, citing “intelligence” of an imminent Iranian attack on U.S. interests in the region.

Tehran responded to the escalation by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a main artery for global oil shipments linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea.

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