German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Reuters

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday expressed hope that US President-elect Joe Biden will change US policy on Iran when he takes office next month.

Speaking to Der Spiegel and quoted by the Anadolu news agency, Maas called for negotiations with Iran to conclude a broader nuclear deal, adding it is in the interest of the US and Europeans to reach a broader agreement with Tehran.

"A return to the previous agreement will not be adequate in any case," he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

"There should be a kind of a 'nuclear agreement plus' deal, which is also in the interest of us," he added.

"It is important to send out a signal, which would be decisive, on whether or not the United States would relax economic sanctions on Iran. Both sides should move forward, come closer. Time is running out because Iran will have presidential elections next year," continued Maas.

The German Foreign Minister argued that a broader nuclear deal with Iran will be the best way to address concerns about its nuclear activities.

"We have clear expectations from Iran: No nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile program which threatens the entire region," he said.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement in May of 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response.

The European signatories to the deal - Britain, France and Germany - refused to follow the US and withdraw from the agreement and have been trying to save it.

Maas said recently 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.

Biden, who takes office in January, has said he would rejoin the deal and told The New York Times this week that he would do so if Iran returned to compliance with it.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday stressed that his country will not agree to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal and urged Biden to abandon what he described as Washington's "rogue" behavior in withdrawing from the agreement.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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