BERLIN, January 13. /TASS/. As a signatory to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, Russia is one of the parties responsible for maintaining the deal, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with the Saarbrucker Zeitung newspaper, published on Monday.
"As a signatory, Russia is responsible for maintaining [the deal] as factor of stability in the region," Maas pointed out. He added that Russia reiterated its commitment to the JCPOA over the weekend.
"We would like Moscow to help persuade Iran to abide by the rules of the game during the upcoming talks. Russia can also take advantage of its influence in Syria in order to prevent tensions from escalating," the German top diplomat added.
Maas said it was important that Iran "has clarified" the situation around the January 8 recent air crash outside Tehran. "We hope to see signals from Washington indicating that both parties are interested in easing tensions," the German foreign minister emphasized. According to him, although a direct armed conflict has been averted, "a conflict between the US and Iran is hanging over the region like the Sword of Damocles."
Tensions in the Middle East escalated following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. Iran targeted Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the attack.