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 Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

The Rial Continues To Sink, Hits Record 500,000 Marks Against The Dollar

The US dollar increased in price by more than 11 percent in February and grew to more than 500,000...

Must read

Iran steps up arrests of youths

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Dec. 20 – As part...

Gulf troops to stay in Bahrain to protect against ‘Iran threat’

Bloomberg: Troops from Persian Gulf nations will remain in...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you