Maas urges Iran

The German Foreign Minister wants Iran to return to the negotiating table in the dispute over its nuclear programme.

Heiko Maas
picture alliance/dpa

New York (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is urging Iran to return to the negotiating table in the dispute over its nuclear programme. In talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, he said he expected talks to resume "not in months, but as soon as possible". "We are determined to bring this to a positive conclusion. We know that the Americans are also willing and ready to lift sanctions," Maas (SPD) stressed.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi had earlier made any resumption of negotiations dependent on the prospect of all sanctions against the country being lifted. "The Islamic Republic considers talks whose ultimate outcome is the lifting of all oppressive sanctions to be meaningful," Raisi said in a video message to the General Debate. Addressing the United States, Raisi said the policy of "maximum tyranny" with sanctions continues under President Joe Biden: "We don't trust the promises of the US administration." All parties must abide by the 2015 nuclear agreement, he said.

Negotiations in Vienna on saving the Iran nuclear deal, which had restarted in April, were suspended following the presidential election in June and the change of government in Tehran. China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Russia are keen to get the US to sign back up to the 2015 agreement, while at the same time encouraging Iran to comply once again with conditions it has been violating ever since the United States pulled out under then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

Iran's President Raisi has stressed several times that Iran wants to continue negotiations, yet the new Iranian delegation has still not been decided. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi previously headed the delegation but was replaced last week by hardliner Ali Bagheri, a critic of the agreement.

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