Merkel: Transatlantic ties must endure dispute about Iran nuclear deal

Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel met at the White House in late April

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the objective of 2% on defense, but avoids predictions when this goal can be achieved.

Merkel said in a speech to a labor union congress in Berlin that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement marked "a shift in German-American, in European-American relations". "This accord was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, and therefore we - the UK, France, and Germany - as well as other European Union members along with us, believe that it is wrong to cancel this agreement in this situation", Merkel said during her speech in the German parliament. He said another agreement with Iran should be signed. "But we still think that, with the agreement, we would have better preconditions to speak with Iran about further agreements than by unilaterally canceling an agreement that was unanimously approved and endorsed in the U.N. Security Council". "However, transatlantic relations have to overcome the difference in approaches in these very days, first of all, against the backdrop of the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty with Iran", she added.

The deal between Iran and six world powers lifted most worldwide sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel reportedly have a strained relationship
Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel reportedly have a strained relationship Credit Mark Wilson Getty

"But these transatlantic relationship also must be able to deal with differences in opinion, especially as we can see these days with the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran", Merkel added.

The EU hopes to convince Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear pact.

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