BERLIN There is no evidence that Iran is planning to depart from a deal reached with world powers last year to scale back its nuclear programme and it could even fulfill all of its agreements this month, a German foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.
"I very much expect that there is no interest among the decisive actors in Iran - the Iranian government, the Iranian president, and elsewhere - in diverging from the agreements made in Vienna last summer," Martin Schaefer told a news conference.
Iran signed a nuclear deal with six world powers, including Germany, in July that would see it curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the easing of crippling economic sanctions.
Schaefer suggested these sanctions could be lifted soon. "The day on which Iran fulfills all of its obligations from the Vienna agreement, which will result in international sanctions being suspended or revoked, is getting closer and could even be reached this month," he said.
Volker Treier, managing director of Germany's DIHK Chambers of Commerce, said German companies were hoping that a timetable to dismantle Western sanctions would be presented in the first quarter and that this process would then quickly start.
However he said German businesses were concerned about risingtensions between Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh's execution of four prominent Shi'ites on Saturday. The kingdom severed its ties with Iran on Sunday after protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran.
Treier said that once sanctions on Tehran were lifted, the growth rate of German exports to Iran would probably be in double figures. German-Iranian trade volume could quadruple to around 10 billion euros within five to seven years from around 2.4 billion euros in 2014, he added.
(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Paul Carrel and Michelle Martin; Editing by Noah Barkin and Dominic Evans)
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