Berlin still does not understand the US decision to exit the Iranian nuclear deal, urging Tehran to continue adhering to its obligations under the deal, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated on Thursday on the outcomes of the talks with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov.

“We have said before that we do not understand this step by the US. This has not changed,” Maas said.

“The escalation in the region is in no one’s interest,” he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the UK, Germany, China, Russia, the US and France) on July 14, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced the beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for the abandonment of the sanctions previously imposed over its nuclear program by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States.

 On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He promised to reinstate former anti-Iranian sanctions and introduce tighter ones. On May 8, 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran would partially suspend its obligations under the JCPOA. The Iranian side claims that members to the deal, primarily representatives of Europe, fail to honor their economic obligations under the deal.

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