German FM to travel to Iran next week to discuss JCPOA

Press TV – Germany’s Foreign Ministry says the country’s top diplomat Heiko Maas is to travel to Tehran next week to address ways to save the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers.

The ministry spokeswoman, Maria Adebahr, made the announcement during a news conference in Berlin on Thursday, adding that Maas will be in Tehran on Monday and he plans to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif.

The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was concluded in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of states — the United States, the UK, France, Russia and China, plus Germany.

The US, however, left the accord last May and re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted under it.

Washington quit the agreement despite international criticism and although the deal had been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

The US withdrawal was coupled with the Europeans’ failure to fully live up to their obligations under the deal by preserving their trade with Tehran despite the US sanctions.

On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear pact, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its contractual commitments.

It said it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring Tehran’s interests in the face of the American bans.

Iran said its decision was meant to remind the deal’s European parties that they, too, had to commit to their obligations under the JCPOA.

The German spokesperson said that the trip has been agreed and coordinated with Britain and France, who have both supported the JCPOA.

Maas has also discussed the trip with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a recent visit to Berlin, Adebahr said.

Earlier in the day, Japan’s Kyodo news agency said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also set to pay an official visit to Iran to seek to lower heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Aside from leaving the JCPOA and returning its bans, the US has dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber taskforce, an amphibious assault ship, and around 1,500 additional US troops to the Middle East region, citing an alleged intention on the part of Tehran to target the American interests here.

Iran has sternly cautioned against the US warlike efforts, noting that the region could not take any more conflict. It has also advised Washington to resume its obligations under the nuclear accord.