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    Rouhani, Merkel Discuss Iran Nuclear Deal, Middle East Tensions In New York - Tehran

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    TEHRAN (Sputnik) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and recent developments in the Middle East during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the Iranian government said.

    "Iranian President @HassanRouhani and #German Chancellor Angela Merkel met for the first time at the #UN headquarters and conferred on reinforcing mutual cooperation, preserving #JCPOA as well as defusing #regional tensions", the Iranian government wrote on Twitter.

    Rouhani also informed Merkel about Tehran’s Hormuz Peace Initiative.

    "On Dr Rouhani's HOPE Initiative, she [Merkel] said that Germany would willingly look into the initiative and that it supports any action for easing tensions in the region", the press service said.

    Rouhani’s Hormuz Peace Initiative, dubbed as the Coalition of Hope, seeks to create a system of collective cooperation in the Persian Gulf with the participation of all regional countries and the United Nations. Rouhani is expected to present the plan in greater detail during the General Assembly session.

    The talks came in the wake of the recent attack on major Saudi oil facilities, something which the United States and Saudi Arabia have blamed on Iran.

    Though Tehran has denied having any role in the incident, the leaders of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom issued earlier a statement claiming that "Iran bears responsibility for this attack" and that "there is no other plausible explanation".

    The situation in the region started worsening after the United States walked out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and reinstated harsh sanctions on the Islamic republic.

    Exactly one year after the US move, Tehran announced that it would be gradually reducing its nuclear obligations every 60 days until EU signatories to the accord ensured Iran’s interests amid US sanctions. Earlier in September, Tehran embarked on the third stage of its rollback plan.

    The standoff between Iran and the United States has over the past several months also prompted the situation in the Persian Gulf to deteriorate when a number of oil tankers from various nations got mysteriously attacked in the area of the Persian Gulf. The United States has promptly accused Tehran of carrying out the attacks and boosted its military presence in the region. Tehran, however, has denied the allegations.

    In the wake of the attacks and the detention of the UK-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker by Iran, the United States now spearheads an international coalition to ensure maritime security on this strategic waterway for global oil shipments.

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    Tags:
    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), UN General Assembly, Germany, Iran, Angela Merkel, Hassan Rouhani
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