Iran Nuclear NewsMerkel, Putin to meet amid tensions with Iran

Merkel, Putin to meet amid tensions with Iran

-

Reuters: German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Moscow on Monday where she hopes to persuade President Vladimir Putin to join the EU and United States in ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on Iran, German officials said. BERLIN, Jan 16 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Moscow on Monday where she hopes to persuade President Vladimir Putin to join the EU and United States in ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on Iran, German officials said.

On her first visit to the Russian capital since taking over from Putin’s close friend Gerhard Schroeder, Merkel will meet with Putin for about two hours to discuss Iran, energy ties, the situation in Chechnya and other issues, the officials said.

“The Iran issue will be in the foreground of the visit,” a German government official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Merkel, who just returned from her first official trip to Washington, agreed with U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday that it was time to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its refusal to abandon uranium enrichment technology that could enable it to get atomic weapons, officials said.

“In Washington the hope was expressed that there could be common approach by the EU, USA and Russia,” said the official.

The officials said Russia has also expressed displeasure at Iran’s rejection of Moscow’s proposal to set up a joint venture inside Russia that would enable Tehran to produce nuclear fuel for what it says is an atomic energy program that is exclusively peaceful in nature.

Business interests
Germany is the world’s top exporter of goods to Iran and would have much to lose if Tehran faced sanctions. It exported 4 billion euros of goods to Iran last year.

Russia also has significant business interests there and fears sending Iran to the Security Council could escalate Tehran’s standoff with West into an international crisis. Among other projects, Moscow is building a $1 billion nuclear power plant at Bushehr in Iran and hopes to build more.

However, Alexander Rahr, an expert on German-Russian relations at the German Council on Foreign Relations, said he believed Moscow and the EU could work together on Iran.

“The signs are that Russia has no interest in seeing Iran with a nuclear bomb,” Rahr said.

An EU diplomat in Berlin said Merkel hoped to get an assurance from Putin that Moscow would not vote against referring Tehran to the Security Council at an emergency meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog expected to take place next month.

“It seems that Putin will agree not to vote no, but will abstain. A yes vote would be better,” the diplomat said.

Pipeline on agenda
Germany, France and Britain — the EU3 — said last week that 2-1/2 years of talks with Iran on its nuclear program had reached a dead end. But one German official said the talks could be revived if Iran re-suspended its nuclear fuel activities and reconsidered its rejection of Russia’s proposal.

The officials said Merkel would also discuss Russia’s “strategic partnership” with the EU, including its importance as the EU’s top supplier of natural gas. They indicated that the gas-price dispute between Ukraine and Russian gas giant Gazprom may not come up in Merkel’s meeting with Putin.

Former Chancellor Schroeder’s deal with Gazprom to run a Baltic Sea pipeline from Russia to Germany bypassing Poland infuriated Warsaw. Schroeder has also come under fire at home and abroad for agreeing to oversee the pipeline for Gazprom.

The chancellor, who grew up in Germany’s formerly communist East and speaks fluent Russian, is under pressure from the opposition to confront Putin on reports that the development of democracy and human rights in Russia is slowing down.

Merkel’s heads a “grand coalition” government of her conservatives and the Social Democrats.

Latest news

Iran Regime’s Response to Protests Censorship and Violence

The Iranian regime’s leadership has reacted to the ongoing wave of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, the...

Iran’s New Generation Seeks Nothing but Regime Change

In a silly and desperate statement, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that nothing special is going...

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...

Must read

US condemns Iran over pastor facing death

AFP: The United States on Thursday warned Iran would...

Israel says Iran recruited Jewish emigres as spies

Reuters: Iran has been issuing tourist visas to Israelis...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you