Germany suggests 'nuclear plus' agreement with Iran

Foreign Minister Maas expresses hope that US President-elect Biden's administration could relax economic sanctions on Iran

Ayhan Simsek   | 04.12.2020
Germany suggests 'nuclear plus' agreement with Iran


Germany on Friday called for negotiations with Iran to conclude a broader nuclear deal next year.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told weekly Der Spiegel that it was in the interest of the US and Europeans to reach a broader agreement with Tehran.

"A return to the previous agreement will not be adequate in any case," he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

"There should be a kind of a 'nuclear agreement plus' deal, which is also in the interest of us," he added.

Maas expressed hope that US President-elect Joe Biden would change Washington's policy on Iran after taking office next month, and pave the way for talks on the nuclear deal.

"It is important to send out a signal, which would be decisive, on whether or not the United States would relax economic sanctions on Iran. Both sides should move forward, come closer. Time is running out because Iran will have presidential elections next year," he said.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump's administration had unilaterally withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal two years ago, and intensified pressure on Tehran by re-imposing broader sanctions.

Maas argued that a broader nuclear deal with Iran will be the best way to address concerns about Iran's nuclear activities.

"We have clear expectations from Iran: No nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile program which threatens the entire region," he said.

He also urged Iran to change its destabilizing role in the Middle East.

"We need this agreement precisely because we distrust Iran," Maas also noted.

In 2015, world powers, including the US, China, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK agreed to lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to civilian purposes.

Despite the Trump administration's decision in 2018 to withdraw from the accord, Germany, France, and the UK have repeatedly underlined their commitment to the deal and urged Tehran to return to full compliance with the agreement.

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