German FM in Iran: Saving deal or carrying US concerns?
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday night in a trip which was expected to be focused on saving the Iran deal and easing the Iran-US tensions, but the European diplomat apparently seeks to use it for pressuring Tehran into giving up its missile defense program.
While in Tehran, earlier reports said, Maas was supposed to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, as part of "a concerted European effort to preserve the Iran nuclear pact with the 5+1 group and defuse rising US-Iranian tensions."
While pretending to be on Iran's boat when it comes to the nuclear deal, Europeans support the US administration's pressures on Iran over its legitimate defensive capabilities, including its missile program, as well as its regional influence.
In Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the German foreign minister said that, in his talks, he would stress his country's concerns about Iran's missile program and its activity in Syria and Yemen.
"However, we think that this should take place as part of a dialogue," he said, adding he did not think a strategy of maximum pressure and threats was helpful.
He made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Emirati counterpart Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Ale Nahyan, who said countries of the region must also be part of the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Broader issues must also be included in the deal, such as the Iranian ballistic missiles, supporting terrorism and meddling in the internal affairs of other countries,” Shaikh Abdullah claimed.
The comments came a few days after French President Emmanuel Macron's call for fresh negotiations to "extend the terms of the JCPOA" and discuss Tehran's missile program.
In a Thursday meeting with Trump, Macron listed four common priorities of the US and France in addressing "Iranian behavior": preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, reducing Iran's ballistic activity, containing Iran's regional activity and establishing peace in the region.
Iran decried Macron's comments, seriously warning Europe against echoing Trump when it comes to the nuclear deal.
Iran has always said its nuclear activity is peaceful and refuses to put its missile and military capabilities on the negotiating table, as the Trump administration has demanded.