January 11, 2020 / 5:05 PM / 12 days ago

German Chancellor urges all parties to back Iran nuclear deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - German chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday repeated a call for all parties to respect the Iranian nuclear accord, despite Iran’s decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium and moves by the United States to impose economic sanctions.

Under a deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.

“We agreed that we should do anything to preserve the deal, the JCPOA. Germany is convinced that Iran should not acquire or have nuclear weapons,” Merkel said during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday.

“For this reason we will continue to employ all diplomatic means to keep this agreement alive, which is certainly not perfect but it is an agreement and it comprises commitments by all sides,” Merkel said.

Unlike the United States, which on Friday imposed new economic sanctions on Iran, the Europeans have given Tehran more time to avoid nuclear proliferation rather than begin a process that could lead to a reimposition of U.N. sanctions.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber in Moscow, Andreas Rinke in Berlin; writing Edward Taylor in Frankfurt and Sabine Siebold in Berlin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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