German foreign minister attempts to shore up support for nuclear deal in Tehran talks

German foreign minister attempts to shore up support for nuclear deal in Tehran talks

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives today in Tehran, where he will hold talks with his counterpart, Javad Zarif, on

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Photo: Reuters

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives today in Tehran, where he will hold talks with his counterpart, Javad Zarif, on how to ensure the continuation of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have intensified over re-imposed sanctions following the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear agreement last year. Mr Maas is also expected to meet with his counterparts from Jordan and the UAE, though he is unlikely to find a cooperative audience given widespread regional opposition to the deal.

EU efforts to overcome US sanctions and continue trading with Iran have been hindered by the reliance of international trade on the US dollar. There has also been a hesitancy amongst EU member states to directly oppose Washington when Mr Trump is already antagonistic towards Europe. European efforts to create direct central bank-to-central bank mechanisms to facilitate trade have faltered, and it remains to be seen what Europe can do beyond its ongoing political commitment to the deal.

Without a significant change of stance from Washington or stronger support from either Russia or China, Europe’s political commitment to the deal is not going to be enough to keep Iran in over the long-term, meaning an Iranian withdrawal from the deal could be in the cards.

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