Merkel Defends Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Iran says won’t ‘surrender’ to US Merkel defends N-deal

Germany to Increase NATO Defense Spending Amid US Pressure to Pay Fair Share

The European Union's foreign policy chief says a meeting of the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany and Iran has yielded a blueprint for further talks to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after the United States pulled out.

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Iran nuclear accord helped concerned world leaders in dealing with the Islamic Republic, pushing back against Washington's rejection of the deal.

German officials said Tuesday they plan to increase defense spending this year, but not to levels high enough to meet President Donald Trump's demands.

"The civil war in Syria and the fight against Islamic terrorism have escalated into a regional conflict of an enormous scale, which can not be resolved without Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and, I would say, Europe", Merkel said in the Bundestag.

The chancellor also said Germany will remain committed to the Iran Nuclear Deal despite the US withdrawal.

Repudiating the result of more than a decade of diplomacy, Trump complained that the deal does not cover Iran's ballistic missiles, its role in regional wars or what happens after the pact begins to expire in 2025.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said before the meeting in Brussels that "the United Kingdom and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it".

Rohani was speaking a day after Washington announced fresh sanctions on the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, accusing him of providing support for terrorist activities.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Trump expected Tehran to leave the deal after the U.S. withdrawal, but Tehran had refused to follow that plan by trying to save the deal with its remaining signatories.

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 USA withdrawal.

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