Ahead of looming deadline, Merkel defends Iran deal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended the international Iran nuclear deal in an interview with Israeli TV, saying that while she understands Israel’s “great worries,” a partial framework is better than no agreement at all, AP reports.
Why it matters: Her defense comes ahead of a May 12 deadline, which President Trump set to withdraw from the agreement unless the deal's other major European signatories — Germany, France, and the United Kingdom — agree to enact "significant changes.”
What they're saying: Merkel reportedly told Israel TV’s Channel 10 that Germany will monitor developments "very closely to ensure that this agreement will be fulfilled.”
- Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters that Trump's threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement were sending a "very dangerous message" to other countries negotiating with U.S. Zarif said that, should the U.S. withdraw from the deal, the ultimate consequences "won't be very pleasant to the United States."
- French President Emmanuel Macron, who will arrive in Washington this week for the first official state visit hosted by Trump, told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday”: "I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran, so that's the question we will discuss."
The backstory: Under the Obama-era deal, which Trump has repeatedly blasted as flawed, Iran had agreed to put limits on parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.