All tagged Heiko Maas

EU States Cool on US Blaming Iran for Gulf Tanker Attacks

◢ European states on Monday urged caution in attributing blame for last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf, pointedly refusing to fall in line with Washington's assessment that Iran was behind the incidents. Several EU foreign ministers arriving for talks in Luxembourg backed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' call for an independent investigation into explosions that damaged two tankers.

High-Stakes Iran Talks Try to Prevent Atomic Deal Unraveling

◢ Diplomacy intended to salvage the Iran nuclear deal goes into high gear this week after Tehran threatened to follow the U.S. in abandoning the accord. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas landed in Iran’s capital to meet Monday with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in Tehran on Wednesday for more consultations.

Exasperated Europeans Face Surprise Pompeo Visit on Iran

◢ As European Union governments scramble to save the Iran nuclear accord from U.S. efforts to scuttle it, the mood in diplomatic circles has blackened. Then suddenly, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo lands in Brussels with little warning. After a cool initial reception to the unscheduled drop-in, Pompeo began meetings with European counterparts to address Iran’s “threatening actions and statements.”

Germany Rejects US Call to Leave Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ Germany on Friday rejected an appeal by US Vice President Mike Pence for Europeans to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and isolate Tehran. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defended the 2015 agreement under which Iran drastically scaled back its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

EU's Iran Payments Vehicle Ready - But Stuck

◢ A payment mechanism the EU hopes will save the Iran nuclear deal by bypassing US sanctions is ready, diplomats said Monday, but is held up by disagreements among European countries. The "Special Purpose Vehicle" is being put together by Germany, France and Britain, the European signatories to the 2015 accord that curbed Tehran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions reilef.

Germany Says Shares US Goals on Iran

◢ Germany on Wednesday told the United States that it shared its goals on Iran even as the Europeans press ahead to save a denuclearization deal threatened by US sanctions. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met in Washington with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who has voiced outrage over European plans to preserve commercial ties with Iran.

Germany Warns US Iran Sanctions Could Cause 'Chaos'

◢ German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned Wednesday that US President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran could further destabilize the Middle East and boost radical forces in the region. "We still think that it is a mistake to give up on the nuclear accord with 
Iran," Maas said in an interview with the daily Passauer Neue Presse.

France, Germany, Britain Formally Demand Exemptions from US Iran Sanctions

◢ France, Britain, Germany and the EU on Wednesday sent the United States a joint official request for their companies to be exempt from punitive measures resulting from fresh US sanctions on Iran. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the three countries and the EU were asking the US "to exempt European businesses doing legitimate trade in Iran from all extraterritorial American sanctions.”

No New EU Sanctions on Iran—For Now

◢ EU foreign ministers on Monday discussed how they could persuade the US not to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions on Tehran. Britain, France and Germany used a meeting of the EU's 28 foreign ministers  to try to build support for expanding sanctions against Iran to punish it for its ballistic missile program and its role in regional conflicts including Syria and Yemen.