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EghtesadOnline: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Saturday to make every effort to save the Iran nuclear deal after meeting in Moscow amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Merkel said “everything must be done” to keep the agreement, despite calls from US President Donald Trump to abandon it, while her Russian counterpart described the deal as “tremendously important”. 

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Tehran’s nuclear program is under pressure after Trump pulled out of it last year and reimposed tough sanctions, triggering Iran’s decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium, Financial Tribune reported.

“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 Putin, Euronews reported.

Tehran says its nuclear program has no military aspects and is totally geared toward civilian applications. 

“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.

Merkel’s visit—the first to Russia since May 2018—came as Iran announced that its armed forces accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after its takeoff from Tehran, killing 176 passengers and crew. 

Iran’s air defense systems were on high alert to counter any possible military action by the US after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on Wednesday fired missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American forces in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian commander Major General Qasem Soleimani. 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said recent escalations between Iran and the US were one of the “key reasons" for the Merkel-Putin meeting.

“In the eyes of Merkel, Putin is a person who has direct contacts with the Iranian leadership and can somehow influence their decisions. Against the background of Trump, he looks like a responsible politician,” said Russian political analyst, Aleksandr Golts.

 

Angela merkel Merkel JCPOA Iran Germany Russia Putin Middle East Vladimir Putin nuclear deal Save tensions Do Anything