Germany's Merkel defies Trump, defends Iran nuclear deal

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

The German chancellor echoed sentiments on Wednesday by other major European countries, which maintain that the deal is the most effective way to stop the increasingly influential regional power from obtaining an atomic weapon.

Speaking during ongoing budgetary consultations in the federal parliament (Bundestag), Merkel hit back at opposition criticism of a scheduled rise in military funding from 38.5 billion euros (45.5 billion USA dollars) in 2018 to 41.5 billion euros in 2019.

Merkel told the German parliament on May 16 that while the pact was "anything but's not right to cancel this agreement in this situation now".

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

Major European powers have sought to keep Iran in a landmark global nuclear agreement after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against Tehran.

The statement came a week after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the JCPOA despite the fact that Iran remained in compliance with the deal as verified by the IAEA in 11 inspection reports.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said before the meeting in Brussels that "the United Kingdom and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it". "The Iranian nation will resist against the U.S. plots", Rouhani was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as the Europeans seek to keep the Iran nuclear agreement.

British, French and German foreign ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to see how they can save the nuclear deal without the United States, but appeared hard-pressed over how their companies could continue doing business with Iran once Washington begins to reimpose sanctions.