Iranian nuclear deal is still possible: Merkel

15th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 February 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she still saw real chances for a diplomatic deal to defuse the ongoing crisis over Iran's nuclear programme.

15 February 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she still saw real chances for a diplomatic deal to defuse the ongoing crisis over Iran's nuclear programme.

"We still have not used all our available window of opportunity," Merkel said in a Stern magazine interview, adding that she saw "real chances for a negotiated solution."

Merkel said Iran had to recognize that its decision to resume uranium enrichment and to cut inspection rights for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors had left Tehran isolated.

Germany, France and Britain - the EU-3 - led talks over the past few years aimed at reaching a deal exchanging aid and trade for cut- backs in Iran's nuclear research which the US and many European countries believe is aimed at nuclear weapons.

But last month the EU-3 declared negotiations had reached a "dead end" and referred Iran to the IAEA which voted to send Tehran to the UN Security Council.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

Merkel's remarks come after her tough talk aimed at Iran earlier this month fuelled media speculation that she was not ruling out use of military force against Iran.

But these reports involved selective reading of a speech she gave at the Munich Security Conference in which she also ruled out military options and said efforts had to be through diplomatic channels.

Seeking to ease concern at home, Merkel said: "The Germans have no need to be afraid."

She insisted that despite the "phase of new conflicts" there was no reason to fear a war.

DPA

Subject: German news

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