Germany calls for end to Iranian ballistic missile program
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Germany calls for end to Iranian ballistic missile program

German FM tells US counterpart that Berlin shares same goals vis-à-vis Iran but ‘we just have different paths that we want to follow’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) shakes hands with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the State Department in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) shakes hands with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the State Department in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2018. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Germany on Wednesday told the United States that it shared its goals on Iran even as the Europeans press ahead to save a denuclearization deal threatened by US sanctions.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met in Washington with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has voiced outrage over European plans to preserve commercial ties with Iran.

“In the end, we pursue the same goals with respect to Iran,” Maas told reporters after meeting Pompeo.

“We just have different paths that we want to follow,” he said.

Maas said that Germany shared concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program and believed Tehran should withdraw from Syria, where the Shiite clerical regime is supporting President Bashar Assad.

Iran has previously displayed and fired missiles bearing slogans against Israel, whose destruction Iranian leaders openly call for, including most recently as Monday.

In this photo released on October 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a missile is fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. (Sepahnews via AP)

Maas said however that the end of the 2015 agreement would lead Iran to pursue a nuclear program with military purposes.

“This would create the danger of a military conflict in the region,” Maas said.

The US under former president Barack Obama negotiated the deal with Iran alongside Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

UN inspectors say that Iran has complied with the agreement, under which it ceased sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord, vowing instead to target Iran aggressively and roll back its role in the region.

The European Union said last month that it was working on a legal entity through which businesses could trade with Iran and avoid US sanctions.

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