Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 29 December on the export of Iranian stockpiles of enriched uranium to Russia:
This is one of the first very important steps towards implementing the Vienna nuclear agreement. At the same time, it is one of several steps with which Iran must prove that it has abandoned its attempts to build a nuclear bomb, as was agreed in Vienna in the summer.
Although further steps must still be taken as regards implementing the agreement, the Vienna deal is working. This is an opportunity for the crisis-ridden Middle East.
However, we will only lift the sanctions as agreed once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran has completed its commitments. We have created the legal conditions for this in the European Union.
The Vienna deal showed that when an agreement is in the interest of both sides, diplomacy can find solutions – even if there is initially distrust or even hostility between the parties.