Germany tells Iran: Improve ties with Israel in order to gain favor from West

By REUTERS
July 19, 2015 21:25

 
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German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Iran at the start of a three-day visit to improve its relationship with Israel if it wanted to establish closer economic ties with Germany and other Western powers.

Gabriel, who is also economy minister, is the first senior figure from a large western government to visit Iran since it struck a landmark agreement with world powers on its nuclear program last week.

The deal was reached despite strong opposition from Israel, with which Germany has cultivated a close relationship since the end of World War Two, when the Nazis killed six million Jews.

That puts Germany in a delicate position as it seeks to win new business in Iran after a 12-year standoff over Iran's nuclear program during which sanctions sharply reduced trade and investment.

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