Germany warns risk of war in Gulf still ‘serious’
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Germany warns risk of war in Gulf still ‘serious’

Heiko Maas says Berlin talking to all sides in bid to calm tensions between US and Iran after tanker attacks, troop buildup

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas leaves the Elysee presidential palace after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting on June 19, 2019 in Paris. (ludovic Marin/AFP)
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas leaves the Elysee presidential palace after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting on June 19, 2019 in Paris. (ludovic Marin/AFP)

PARIS, France — There remains a risk of war in the Gulf as tensions surge between Iran and the United States, Germany’s foreign minister said Wednesday, saying dialogue among all parties was necessary.

“The situation is, as before, serious. The risk of war in the Gulf has not been dispelled,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said alongside his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian at a press briefing in Paris.

“We must do everything to make sure it does not come to this and therefore we are talking to all the parties,” Maas said, saying the dialogue was a necessary step toward de-escalation and in search of viable solutions.

Washington, Berlin, Riyadh and others have blamed Iran for last week’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a charge Tehran has denied as “baseless.”

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) and German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas address a press conference at the Elysee presidential palace after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting on June 19, 2019 in Paris. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Tehran also announced that as of June 27, it will surpass a uranium stockpile limit set under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that the US abandoned last year.

EU powers have generally been more circumspect than Washington on apportioning blame over the tanker attacks. They have expressed concern over the risk of a major conflagration in the Gulf.

Le Drian said it was time for world powers to come together and ensure a de-escalation. “There is still time but there is little time,” he said.

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