Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on September 21 that Berlin will try to persuade the United States not to abandon the Iranian nuclear agreement.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York, Gabriel said any US move to cancel the Iran deal and impose new sanctions on Tehran would discourage powers such as North Korea from negotiating an end to their own nuclear programmes.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the foreign minister said Germany would work with the European Union, France, Britain and where possible China and Russia to press Washington to preserve the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear work in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Gabriel said Germany would maintain its position on the Iran deal, regardless of which parties formed the next government. Elections will be held on September 24.

US President Donald Trump, who has called the Iran deal “an embarrassment”, has until October 15 to decide whether to certify that Iran is complying with the pact. If he does not, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the accord.

“Now we will all try to convince the Americans in the remaining weeks… that calling the agreement into question will not increase security,” Gabriel told reporters in New York.

Back in Berlin, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said Germany, as one of Iran’s most important trading partners in Europe, had a “great interest” in preserving the agreement.

German exports to Iran rose 23% to €1.4bn euros in the first six months of 2017.