Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Wednesday that ongoing unrest in Iran, amplified by recently reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic could “boost radical and fundamentalist forces.”
“We still think that it is a mistake to give up on the nuclear accord with Iran,” Maas reportedly said in an interview with the daily Passauer Neue Presse. “We are fighting for the deal because it also serves our purpose by bringing about security and transparency in the region.”
“Anyone who’s hoping for regime change must not forget that whatever follows could bring us much bigger problems. Isolating Iran could boost radical and fundamentalist forces,” he warned.
“Chaos in Iran, as we have experienced in Iraq or Libya, would further destabilize an already troubled region,” he added.
Haas was likely heeding to warnings from Iran’s top military commander and fear that Iranian forces could attack American military personnel listed and based on the Middle East.
Last month, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds (IRGC-Quds) Forces Commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani warned President Trump that he would regret waging war with the Islamic Republic and stated that such a scenario would “destroy all that he owns,” referring to America’s influence in the region.
“Therefore you have to be careful about insulting the Iranian people and the president of our Republic,” Soleimani said. “You may begin the war, but it will be us who will end it.”
“As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to your threats,” he said. “If you want to use the language of threat … talk to me, not to the president [Hassan Rouhani]. It is not in our president’s dignity to respond to you.”
Iran has sought help from the remaining European nations, and especially China, to save what remains of the Iran deal. n a desperate bid to save the nuclear accord, European governments have pledged to do what they can to keep business links with Tehran.
President Donald Trump returned the first wave of sanctions on Iran Monday affecting Iran’s automotive industry, gold, and other metals, after unilaterally pulling the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, on May 8.
The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2018
A second wave of sanctions is slated to hit Iran’s oil sector on November 4. Any nation that fails to stop importing oil from Iran after that date could face U.S. sanctions.
Fear of American sanctions has reportedly caused many large European firms such as German automaker Daimler to leave Iran, news that United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell welcomed.
“We are pleased to see German businesses stopping their trade with Iran, complying with U.S. sanctions, and helping pressure the Iranian regime back to the table,” Grenell tweeted. “We stand together to stop Iran’s malign activities.”
We are pleased to see German businesses stopping their trade with Iran, complying with U.S. sanctions, and helping pressure the Iranian regime back to the table. We stand together to stop Iran's malign activities.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 7, 2018