'Germany and the European Union on Friday rejected a call by US Vice President Mike Pence for Europe to follow in the US’ footsteps and leave the Iran nuclear deal in a bid to “isolate” the Islamic Republic.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday that Europe would seek to keep the deal alive. But pressed on what more Europe could do as its companies exit Iran under US pressure, he declined to spell out any new tactics.
"Together with the Brits, French and the entire EU we have found ways to keep Iran in the nuclear agreement until today," Maas told the Munich Security Conference.
Without this agreement, "the region will not be safer and would actually be one step closer to an open confrontation," he added.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also told the same Conference that the bloc was determined to preserve the "full implementation" of the deal, saying it was vital to European security and an effective guarantor of peace.
"I believe if it was not for the European Union and its member states, starting with France, Germany and the UK, I am sure that the nuclear deal with Iran would have been dead long ago," she said. "We believe it is fundamental and crucial for our security."
The comments came after Pence used a speech in Warsaw on Thursday to deliver the most direct attack to date from a US official on Europe's attempts to salvage the agreement.
He also criticized the initiative of France, Germany and Britain to allow European companies to continue operating in Iran despite US sanctions.'
Read more: EU, Germany reject US’ call for leaving JCPOA
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