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Merkel: Transatlantic ties must endure dispute about Iran nuclear deal

17 May 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said United States decision to quit Iran nuclear deal was wrong. While reiterating earlier criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, Merkel however argued that close transatlantic relations in this context retained value regardless of recent disagreements between the European Union (EU) and the Trump administration. "It's not right to cancel this agreement in this situation now", she said.

Iran meanwhile said the new USA sanctions were an attempt to derail efforts to save the deal.

The US has announced new sanctions on Iran, including on the country's central bank head.

Meanwhile, Tehran is looking for guarantees from Europe that the deal can continue without the United States and warned it could restart its nuclear programme if talks fail.

Tehran has accused the U.S. of trying to sabotage efforts to save a nuclear deal between Iran, Russia, Europe and China, following Washington's withdrawal last week from the accord.

"Trump played his first card, but miscalculated the second move", Rouhani was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency.

"They think they can make the Iranian nation surrender by putting pressure on Iran, through sanctions and even threats of war".

"The civil war in Syria and the fight against Islamic terrorism have escalated into a regional conflict of an enormous scale, which can not be resolved without Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and, I would say, Europe", Merkel said in the Bundestag.

"I doubt that the talks with the Europeans will be fruitful".

At meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels on May 15, the European signatories vowed to keep the JCPOA alive despite the US withdrawal.

He was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

The Europeans and Iranians have tasked experts to come up with measures quickly and will meet again in Vienna next week.

Merkel: Transatlantic ties must endure dispute about Iran nuclear deal