Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s ‘aggressive tendencies’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaks during a press conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the Royal Palace in the Jordanian capital Amman on June 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 June 2018
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Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s ‘aggressive tendencies’

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”


British PM May: 'I will not break up my country for EU Brexit deal'

Updated 21 September 2018
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British PM May: 'I will not break up my country for EU Brexit deal'

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May told the European Union on Friday that it should come up with an alternative to her Brexit proposals and warned she would never accept a break-up of the United Kingdom.
"I will not overturn the result of the referendum nor will I break up my country," May told broadcasters in Downing Street. "We need serious engagement on resolving the two main problems in the negotiations and we stand ready."
Making a statement a day after EU leaders rejected key parts of her Brexit proposals, May said negotiations were at an impasse.
She also said the best outcome from the negotiations was for the country to leave the bloc with a deal but exiting with no deal would be better than a bad deal.