US-Iran tension "worrying", says Minister

Germany – Iran – Statements to the press by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, following the Council of Ministers’ meeting (excerpts)

Paris, 19 June 2019

THE MINISTER – I’m happy to be accompanied today by my friend Heiko Maas at this Council of Ministers’ meeting. This initiative follows the Aachen Treaty endorsed on 22 January, which is, as you know, the convergence treaty, whereas the Elysée Treaty was the reconciliation treaty. In this Aachen Treaty, it’s agreed that the ministers will alternately attend each country’s council of ministers’ meetings. I had the pleasure of going to the council of ministers’ meeting in Germany at the end of March, and today it’s Heiko Maas’ turn. (…)

Q. – There’s an escalation on the Iran issue. You must have discussed the matter. Could you tell us more about the Franco-German position?

THE MINISTER – That’s a very intense issue. We’re concerned about the escalation of both actions and words. We believe the Iranian authorities’ announcement that they may call into question their compliance with the Vienna agreement is worrying. We don’t think it’s in Iran’s interest. We also believe that, on the other side, the United States’ breach of the Vienna agreement isn’t a good thing and that the maximum pressure it wants to exert today is contributing to the tension, and we want to combine our efforts to ensure that a de-escalation process is set in motion. There’s still time, and we’d like the players to proceed more calmly. There’s still time, but time is short. And we’re working in close cooperation, including with our British colleagues, because, as you know, the Vienna agreement was signed by these three European countries, and we’re increasing the number of initiatives to avoid prolonging this atmosphere of escalation that we’re seeing day after day./.

Published on 25/06/2019

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