Germany's Maas heading to Tehran for nuclear talks: Spokeswoman

Germany's Maas heading to Tehran for nuclear talks: Spokeswoman

United States diplomats helped negotiate the landmark 2015 deal on Iran s nuclear programme with Europe under his predecessor Barack Obama but Trump unilaterally pulled out of the deal in May 2018.

Iran has denied seeking nuclear weapons and has vowed to resist the USA maximum pressure campaign. "But there's always a chance" President Donald Trump said during a Wednesday interview on British TV station ITV when asked whether he thought military action would be necessary against Iran.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono is expected to travel to Tehran to meet with his counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on June 12 to pave the way for Abe's visit. Although this is the first official Tehran visit by a Japanese prime minister since 1978, Abe is no stranger to Iran's leaders and, in fact, has met Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on several occasions on the sidelines of United Nations gatherings in NY.

Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has dismissed Washington's call for negotiations.

Mediation efforts between the United States and Iran have received a boost with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announcing plans to visit Iran to prevent the country from leaving the nuclear agreement.

"The Europeans have so far failed to fulfill their commitments under the deal and.to protect Iran's interests after America's illegal withdrawal", Mousavi added in his statement, according to state TV.

The trip would be the first by a Japanese prime minister to Iran in more than four decades.

"The only thing is we can't let them have nuclear weapons", Trump said.

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Although EU leaders were bitterly angered by Trump s pullout from the nuclear deal, the U.S. president said and Macron did not have differences on how to handle Iran.

Despite calling out Iran's circumventing the nuclear deal, Heinonen has panned the Trump administration for its aggressive stance working to provoke Iran's nuclear program acceleration.

Khamenei, in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday, dismissed other recent comments by Trump suggesting an openness to talks, saying the USA leader would not "deceive" Iran with a "cunning political ploy".

President Hassan Rouhani seemed more open to negotiations if the USA showed Iran respect and lifted sanctions against it. And I don't want them to fail as a nation.

"(Then) reduce ballistic activity and contain Iran regionally and we have a fourth objective which is peace in the region.

Rouhani previously signalled his readiness to start a dialogue with the USA, provided that Washington shows respect and follows global rules.

"I think he's a terrific guy".

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