Merkel condemns Iran tweet but still backs nuclear deal

PALESTINIANS INSPECT an Islamic Jihad observation post after it was targeted by an Israeli tank

PALESTINIANS INSPECT an Islamic Jihad observation post after it was targeted by an Israeli tank

Asked how Germany can negotiate with a country whose leader Ali Khamenei tweeted on Sunday that Israel is a "malignant cancerous tumor" that needs to be "removed and eradicated", Merkel said that Germany strongly condemns and denounced this type of language, including in meeting with the Iranians, but believes the JCPOA is the best way to keep Tehran from getting bomb.

The two world leaders agreed Iran exercised a "worrying" influence over a huge part of the Middle East.

"Tehran will attack ten times more if attacked by our enemies..." Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told Shargh newspaper June 2, "We have previously said ... that Iranian advisers have no presence in southern Syria and have had no role in the implemented operations there".

European signatories are scrambling to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapons, by protecting trade with Iran against the reimposition of USA sanctions to dissuade Tehran from quitting the deal.

"Our position is very clear: We want a clear and explicit arrangement that neither the Iranians or Hezbollah are present on Syrian soil, and the rest is really not our business", he says.

U.S. President Donald Trump last month pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement with Iran, claiming that Iran was running a secret program to build nuclear weapons.

"Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken".

Under the 2015 accord signed by Iran, the US, France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China, Iran's uranium enrichment was strictly limited, removing its ability to produce a nuclear weapon.


The Iran deal paved the way for the partial lifting of worldwide sanctions against the country, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme for a number of years.

One of Trump's demands - which European allies back in principle - is negotiations to rein in Iran's ballistic missile programme, which was not covered by the nuclear deal.

Merkel has acknowledged that while European powers see the JCPOA as the best guarantee against an Iran with nuclear weapons, it is "not flawless".

Western powers view Iran's involvement in its neighbours affairs as destabilising for the region while Israel sees it as a direct threat to its existence.

Foes Iran and Israel have been kept at bay for decades.

Merkel has repeatedly criticized expanding Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as destructive to long-thwarted hopes for a two-state solution.

However Berlin has defended Israel's right to retaliate against rocket attacks from Gaza amid the worst military flare-up in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave since a 2014 war.

Netanyahu thanked Merkel for her efforts to fight a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany stemming from homegrown extremists and the massive influx of Muslim asylum seekers since 2015.

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