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German FM Pushes for Direct Iran-US Talks

German FM Pushes for Direct Iran-US TalksGerman FM Pushes for Direct Iran-US Talks

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Sunday pushed for the US to take part in direct talks with Iran after praising Washington's effort to have dialogue with Pyongyang amid the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

"This is exactly the right direction and a big, courageous step for the US," Gabriel said in a statement, the Hill reported.

"I very much wish that such an offer would now also be given to Iran. Ending the nuclear deal with Iran would undermine the credibility of its offer to North Korea."

Gabriel, along with his other European counterparts, has warned against quitting the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

Trump has until Oct. 15 to notify the US Congress whether Iran has complied with the provisions of the 2015 deal, which provided sanctions relief in exchange for limitations on Iran's nuclear program. Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran if Trump chooses not to recertify the country's compliance. Gabriel said last month that Germany would work with allies in the European Union, Britain, China and Russia to persuade Trump to preserve the agreement.

The foreign minister's comments come after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Saturday that the US was in direct contact with North Korean officials, even though there is no official diplomatic relationship between Washington and Pyongyang.

US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Saturday that North Korea had shown no interest in negotiating on matters related to its nuclear weapons program.

Trump tweeted on Sunday it was a waste of time to negotiate with North Korea amid the escalating crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

 

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