Berlin says US has right tohold open all options on Iran

19th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 January 2005, BERLIN - A spokesman for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Wednesday the United States had the right to hold open all options with regard to Iran. Chief chancellery spokesman Bela Anda told reporters the US refusal to rule out military action over Iran's nuclear programme - underlined by US President George W. Bush on Monday - was "nothing new." "It is a basic right of the American president to hold open all options," said Anda. Germany strongly opposed the Iraq war and Berlin is

19 January 2005

BERLIN - A spokesman for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Wednesday the United States had the right to hold open all options with regard to Iran.

Chief chancellery spokesman Bela Anda told reporters the US refusal to rule out military action over Iran's nuclear programme - underlined by US President George W. Bush on Monday - was "nothing new."

"It is a basic right of the American president to hold open all options," said Anda.

Germany strongly opposed the Iraq war and Berlin is part of the European Union (EU) "Big Three" with Britain and France which is seeking to hammer out a diplomatic deal with Teheran which guarantees Iran is not seeking to build nuclear weapons and will halt uranium enrichment.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Walter Lindner, declined to say if Berlin viewed American threats of military force as a useful backup to European diplomacy, as has been suggested by some observers.

Asked if the US threats would sour ties with Washington, Anda said: "No ... the transatlantic alliance remains untouched by this."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer will meet next week with designated US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Lindner. The meeting will probably take place on Tuesday with a final announcement due in coming days.

Schroeder is due to have talks with President Bush who will visit Germany on 23 February as part of a European tour.

DPA

Subject: German news

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