Merkel: Transatlantic ties must endure dispute about Iran nuclear deal

Ursula von der Leyen made a formal complaint over planned defence spending

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

According to Merkel, there are some points of contention in relations between the European Union and Tehran, including Iran's ballistic missile program. "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".

Germany pushed back against Washington's rejection of historic Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying the accord helped world leaders deal with concerns it has with the Islamic Republic.

Merkel said the Europeans aren't "blind" to threats posed by Iran's activities in Syria to Israel, for example.

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.

Tehran has accused the USA 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.

President Donald Trump announced last week the USA would pull out of the 2015 accord, which is created to keep Tehran's nuclear ambitions in check and took over a decade to negotiate.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on May 16 that Tehran will not flag under US pressure. "The Iranian nation will resist the US plots", Iranian news agencies quoted Rohani as saying.

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.

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