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    German Justice Minister Heiko Maas

    German FM Says US Exit From JCPOA Damaged Transatlantic Relations – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that the United States' withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, damaged the transatlantic relations in the long-term perspective, Der Spiegel magazine reported Friday.

    Maas told the outlet in an interview that Washington's unilateral decision to leave the deal would have the long-term negative consequences for the EU-US ties.

    "The changes that are taking place in the United States have been affecting the transatlantic relations for a long time … We are ready to talk, hold negotiations, but also stand our ground if needed," Maas said.

    The Foreign Ministry’s minister of state Niels Annen echoed Maas, saying that the US decision to leave the JCPOA was a mistake that would have a long-lasting negative impact on the relations between Brussels and Washington.

    "Unfortunately, we should state that the United States is unlikely ready to listen to the arguments of its allies," Annen said.

    The statement of the senior German official, however, differs from the one announced earlier in the day by Angela Merkel, who said that Trump's decision to withdraw from the deal was no reason to call into question relationships between Europe and the US.

    READ MORE: Iran Nuclear Deal Works, EU Intends to Preserve It — Mogherini

    Speaking further, Maas noted the importance of keeping the deal, regarding the US decision on it.

    "We believe that it is important to keep the agreement, as it is the only deal, which formally deters Iran from implementing nuclear weapons program," Maas said at a briefing following Maas's meeting with his Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian counterparts in the Lithuanian city of Palanga, adding that if the agreement is broken it may jeopardize regional peace and security.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, which requires Tehran to maintain a peaceful nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

    Trump also announced that he would re-impose US sanctions on the country. Following Trump's announcement, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed their regret over Trump's decision in a joint statement, stressing their countries' commitment to the JCPOA.

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    Iran nuclear deal, Heiko Maas, Germany, Iran
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