Iran General NewsGermany's Merkel hits out at Iran over regional threats

Germany’s Merkel hits out at Iran over regional threats


Reuters: Angela Merkel expressed strong support for Israel on Thursday, a sign postwar Germany’s ties with the country will stay close when she takes over as chancellor next week. By Louis Charbonneau

BERLIN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel expressed strong support for Israel on Thursday, a sign postwar Germany’s ties with the country will stay close when she takes over as chancellor next week.

Six days before parliament is set to confirm her as leader of a new “grand coalition” of Germany’s two biggest parties, she digressed from an unrelated speech to condemn remarks last month by Iran’s president that Israel should be “wiped off the map”.

“If … in Iran the state of Israel’s right to exist is called into question, then we can show absolutely no tolerance of this,” she said in Berlin. “It must be castigated with all available means.”

Germany has been part of a European drive to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions, but Merkel’s comments signalled attitudes in Berlin may be hardening after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments.

Germany, burdened by guilt following the Nazi persecution and extermination of European Jews in World War Two, has been a strong supporter of Israel since its creation in 1948.

Merkel’s remarks on the eve of taking power will underline that she has no intention of departing from that tradition.

Her words echoed Washington’s condemnation of Ahmadinejad.

She has vowed to improve ties with the United States and work with Washington and other key European powers to help prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Relations soured due to outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Ahmadinejad’s call for the annihilation of Israel, which was widely condemned by world leaders, has increased concerns about its nuclear ambitions, U.S. and European officials have said.

Germany, along with the European Union’s other two major powers France and Britain, has been trying for two years to persuade Iran to give up technology that could be used to make atomic weapons in exchange for economic and political incentives. Iran has so far rejected the EU offer.

Officials from the so-called “EU3” are considering whether to push to refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council when the U.N. atomic agency’s governing board meets in Vienna next week. (Additional reporting by Nick Antonovics)

Latest news

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Iran Regime’s Ministry of Culture’s Decision To Eliminate Children’s Intellectual Centers

With the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which took place between 1980 and 1983, the Iranian regime tried to purge the...

Water Shortage Crisis and the Destruction of Iran’s Water Resources

Iran is currently suffering from a number of dangerous natural disasters. One of the most worrying is the drying...

Must read

Bagfuls of cash show Iran currency squeeze behind nuclear thaw

Bloomberg: When Mohammad-Reza needed parts for his heater company...

Ahmadinejad lashes out at Iran’s ex-presidents

CNN: It's a first for Iran: a series of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you