Bloomberg: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is not satisfied with Iran’s response to the United Nations offer of economic benefits in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program. By Andreas Cremer
Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is not satisfied with Iran’s response to the United Nations offer of economic benefits in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program.
“We are still examining” the Iranian response “but from all I have heard I cannot be satisfied,” Merkel said in an interview with Germany’s N24 television station today. “The decisive clause” on halting enrichment “is lacking” and must be supplied at a later stage, she said.
The German government will attempt to rally support in the coming days so that Iran complies with the requirement to halt enrichment, Merkel said. “No country wants to be in isolation,” she said.
Merkel’s comments reflect the initial reactions by UN Security Council permanent members France and the U.S., both of which said Iran’s response fell short of the requirement of a halt to uranium enrichment.
Any return to negotiations “is linked to the suspension of enrichment activities” by the Iranians, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters in Paris yesterday.
The U.S. State Department said Iran’s reply was being studied and that American officials “acknowledge that Iran considers its response as a serious offer,” a statement by acting spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said yesterday.
The U.S. and French reactions increase the likelihood of a debate at the UN Security Council Aug. 31 over whether to impose economic penalties on Iran in an attempt to force compliance with the nuclear demand. China and Russia, which are also permanent members of the UN’s highest body, have expressed caution about taking such a step.
The interview with the German Chancellor will be aired at 3 p.m. Berlin time.