Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement after the nuclear talks with Iran in Brussels on 16 March:
At the invitation of EU High Representative Mogherini, my French and British counterparts and I held talks today with Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif in Brussels. Our two‑hour discussion focused on the current status of the E3+3 negotiations about Iran’s nuclear programme. My impression is that we have made progress in recent weeks, but many large obstacles must still be overcome on the long road we have embarked upon. We have again made it clear that we are not prepared to do a deal at any price.
An agreement must ensure that Iran will not be able to acquire nuclear weapons. It is crucial for this that Iran permanently limits its uranium enrichment capabilities, and that the plutonium bomb option is barred. Providing full transparency will be the way for Iran to re‑establish lost trust. In return, we are prepared to gradually ease and end our sanctions on Iran.
We have entered a crucial phase of the negotiations. The technical parameters for a solution to the nuclear dispute are on the table. Now it is time for Iran to take the necessary political decisions for an agreement. It is a unique chance for the E3+3 group and Iran to settle the long‑lasting nuclear dispute once and for all. We should not let this opportunity pass us by. We will therefore spare no effort to reach a lasting agreement in the coming days and weeks.