Top German official calls for de-escalating US-Iran tensions

Top German official calls for de-escalating US-Iran tensions
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Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Iran and the U.S. to de-escalate tensions on Monday, Reuters reported.

“The situation in the region here is highly explosive and extremely serious,” Maas said at a news conference in Iran alongside that country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. “A dangerous escalation of existing tensions can also lead to a military escalation.”

The U.S. and Iran have ramped up criticism of each other in recent weeks, around the time of the one-year anniversary of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's decision to pull out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran. The 2015 deal included other countries and groups such as the European Union.

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The Trump administration in April labeled the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "foreign terrorist organization," the first time the United States has applied that designation to an entire government entity.

Iran responded by designating all U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists.

The U.S. later deployed a carrier to the region and announced it would be sending 1,500 troops as well.

Zarif on Monday blamed the United States for the deteriorating relations.

“Reducing tension is only possible through stopping the economic war by America,” he said, according to Reuters. “Those who wage such wars cannot expect to remain safe.”

Zarif said talks with Maas about the Iran nuclear deal were “frank and serious.” He added that “Tehran will cooperate with EU signatories of the deal to save it.”