Merkel congress 248.88.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that a nuclear bomb in the hands of Iran "is not acceptable."
In a speech to US Congress marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Merkel said that allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons, especially with a leader that denies the Holocaust, is "non-negotiable."
"A nuclear bomb in the hands of an Iranian president who denies the Holocaust, threatens Israel and denies Israel the right to exist is not acceptable," she said.
The Obama administration has called on Germany to agree to stiffer economic sanctions against Iran if Teheran does not permit international restrictions on its nuclear activities.
Merkel said Germany agreed that it was important "to meet this threat head on ... if necessary, through tough economic sanctions."
In the first address by a German chancellor to Congress since Konrad Adenauer in 1957, Merkel also exhorted the world to "tear down the walls of today" and reach a deal to combat global warming.
She also reiterated her country's commitment to fostering security in Afghanistan, and went on to put special emphasis on the need for a global agreement on climate change - one she said she hoped could be forged at an international conference next month in Copenhagen.
Merkel met at the White House with US President Barack Obama before her speech to the joint session of Congress.
After their White House meeting, Obama said, "The United States, Germany and countries around the world, I think, are all beginning to recognize why it is so important that we work in common in order to stem the potential catastrophe that can result if we continue to see global warming continue unabated," Obama said.
He also said he appreciated "the sacrifices of German soldiers in Afghanistan."