Berlin (dpa) – The consequences of the US strike targeting Iranian General Qassem Soleimani for the Middle East will be difficult to predict, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Berlin on Friday following a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The US military operation followed a series of dangerous provocations by Iran,” Maas said, while acknowledging that reducing tensions in the region “has not become easier.”
Maas, who has been at the forefront of European efforts to maintain the international agreement with Iran on containing its nuclear programme, said the aim now was to prevent further escalation across the Middle East.
“We are making use of our diplomatic channels to Iran and to other states in the region,” he said. “Since this morning we have been in close contact with our British and French partners and with other European countries on how we can best work to calm the situation.”
Maas said he had also talked to the EU’s foreign representative, Josep Borrell.
Germany, France and Britain have worked to uphold the Iran nuclear deal agreed in 2015 between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany after US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in May 2018.
Iran has announced a series of steps breaching the deal, which restricts its ability to enrich uranium.