Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Merkel: Transatlantic ties must endure dispute about Iran nuclear deal

NATO spending target not some'fetish for Germany Merkel Germany to Increase NATO Defense Spending Amid US Pressure to Pay Fair Share
Sammy Stanley | 18 May, 2018, 00:37

Canceling nuclear deal between world powers and Iran would be wrong, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in German Parliament on May 16.

Germany's defense minister says Berlin will raise its military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025 — far short of the 2 percent goal demanded of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members by U.S. President Donald Trump. France and Britain have also pledged to uphold the deal provided Iran keeps up its side of the bargain.

"With such destructive measures, the American government is trying to influence the will and decision of the remaining signatories of the JCPOA (nuclear agreement)", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

"This accord was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, and therefore we - the UK, France, and Germany - as well as other European Union members along with us, believe that it is wrong to cancel this agreement in this situation", Merkel said during her speech in the German parliament.

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"Despite all the difficulties that we have these days, the transatlantic relationship is and remains paramount", Merkel told lawmakers.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Trump expected Tehran to leave the deal after the United States withdrawal, but Tehran had refused to follow that plan by trying to save the deal with its remaining signatories.

During the debate, the co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany, Alice Weidel, was reprimanded by speaker Wolfgang Schaeuble for describing Muslim girls who wear headscarves as "useless people".

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