EU convinced maximum pressure won’t work on Iran

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Europe is convinced that Washington’s strategy of maximum pressure on Iran will not work.

Speaking to German newspaper ‘Passauer Neue Presse’ on Saturday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized the US for its confrontational stance regarding the Iran nuclear deal, calling instead for ‘moderation’.

"That the Americans have unilaterally left the agreement remains incomprehensible to us," he said, referring to the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) last May.

The agreement is currently the surest way to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons, he said adding “we Europeans are firmly convinced that a strategy of maximum pressure will not get us any further.”

He stressed the need to focus on dialogue rather than “rethoric armament.”

"The danger is that even unforeseen events can lead to an escalatory spiral," Maas said in reference to the increasing tension between Iran and the US.

"There are a number of crises and conflicts in the region, ranging from Iraq to Syria to Yemen, but one of these conflicts could trigger a conflagration, and the risk of escalation should be clear to all concerned," warned the German minister.

Iran expects the European Union to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear agreement. "Our expectations of Tehran are crystal clear: Iran must continue to implement its obligations under the agreement, without any compromises, and there will be no discounts," he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s full compliance under the nuclear deal in all of its 14 reports released so far. This is while the US has pulled out of the agreement and the European sides to the deal have yet to take a practical measure to ensure Iran’s economic interests. Iran has announced its decision to reduce a portion of its commitments to the JCPOA in a bid to encourage the remaining sides to the agreement to live up to their own commitments and preserve the deal in the wake of US' withdrawal and imposition of sanctions. 

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