TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized US President Donald Trump on Sunday for his so-called policy of ‘maximum pressure’ against Iran.
“We should not pretend that an externally-induced regime change in Tehran will automatically improve the situation. That has gone badly elsewhere, like in Iraq,” Maas told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, according to DW.
Maas added that “pure threats” and “military actions and threats” had not changed Tehran’s behavior.
He emphasized dialogue was necessary to make progress in Iran and to promote Europe’s Iran strategy.
“We have to talk to Iran … We want to prevent a conflagration in and around the Middle East,” Maas said.
“The EU is counting on diplomacy instead of escalation,” he said.
Maas claimed that while the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and is pushing for maximum pressure against Iran, France, Great Britain and Germany wanted instead “to make progress through negotiations” and keep the treaty.
Since the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in May 2018, tensions between Washington and Tehran have been running high.
The US assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in early January followed by an Iranian retaliation attack on US military bases in Iraq has further strained the relations.
The three EU parties to the deal have so far failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests. As a result of this inaction, Iran has taken measures to reduce its commitments under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).