German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Reuters

The election of Joe Biden as the next US president is an opportunity for the US to rejoin the Iran nuclear accord signed in 2015, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told The Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.

The 2015 deal was negotiated during the time of the Obama administration, when Biden was Vice President.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in May of 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Iran, in turn, has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

Germany, France and Britain have resisted US pressure to leave the deal. Biden has indicated he would seek to rejoin the agreement.

Maas told AP he sees an opportunity for the US under Biden to rejoin the Iran nuclear accord, provided the government in Tehran stops breaching its obligations under the treaty.

Maas noted that, like Washington, Germany takes issue with Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East, its ballistic missile program and its threats toward Israel.

“We need to talk, together with the United States and Iran, about whether it’s possible to further develop this treaty in such a way that other issues can be included,” he said, noting that it’s in Tehran’s interest to have crippling economic sanctions lifted.

Maas acknowledged the Trump administration’s success in kickstarting the stalled Middle East peace process, with several Arab nations recently agreeing to start normalizing relations with Israel.

“There’s momentum,” he said. “And I’m pretty certain that Joe Biden will use that as president of the United States.”

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