US Secretary of State Discusses Iran with German Officials

In his first visit to Germany as the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo is meeting Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Earlier, speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after their meeting, Pompeo said that Washington would not stand in the way of INSTEX, a system Europeans are developing to protect companies from American sanctions if they deal with Iran.

The system is intended to process payment regarding legal businesses, from medicines to aid services and other goods, which are permitted under sanctions regimen.

INSTEX is not yet up and running, but Europeans hope to have it functioning by this summer.

Maas said that even though the U.S. had withdrawn from the Iran agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), its goal remained the same.

Pompeo’s stop in Berlin makes up for a visit that he abruptly called off in early May to fly to Iraq. It is the first of his four-nation European trip, during which he also will visit Switzerland and the Netherlands before joining President Donald Trump on his state visit to Britain.