By Ayhan Simsek
BERLIN (AA) - Germany’s foreign minister has sharply criticized the U.S. administration’s recent escalation of tensions with Iran, warning that this policy might trigger a military conflict in the region.
“A maximum pressure campaign would increase the risk of an accidental encounter. The recent developments in the region, sabotage of oil tankers or pipelines, show that this risk is concrete and apparent,” Heiko Maas said on Wednesday, during a parliamentary debate on Iran.
Maas said European foreign ministers conveyed their concerns about rising tensions with Iran, during their meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday.
“We must and we will do everything possible to prevent a military escalation,” he said.
Germany’s top diplomat reaffirmed EU’s continued commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, stressing once again that it provides the best way for a peaceful solution.
He also called on Tehran to fully comply with the landmark nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Iran must continue to implement its commitments under the agreement. They should not expect any discount or compromise from us, from the EU. This would not happen,” he stressed.
World powers had agreed in 2015 to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian purposes.
The agreement was signed between Iran and Russia, China, France, the U.K., and the U.S., plus Germany.
U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal last year, accusing Iran of cheating on the agreement.
The Trump administration has recently intensified pressure on Tehran by re-imposing sanctions targeting the country’s energy, banking and metals sectors.