German stance on Iran unchanged by NIE

Merkel: Too early to say there's no threat, US report doesn't mean Teheran engaged in proper activities.

Merkel 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Merkel 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Germany's stance toward Iran remains unchanged by a US intelligence assessment that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program five years ago. It is too early to say there is no threat, Merkel argued. She said last month's report, which concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in 2003 and has not resumed it since, did not provide a signal to "give the all-clear and to say that Iran is only engaged in activities that we can all find right." She acknowledged that, as a result of the report, "the negotiations about the next (UN) resolution on sanctions weren't accelerated but slowed down a little bit." Merkel said Germany would continue its strategy of offering Iran incentives to persuade it to halt uranium enrichment - but "on the other hand tell Iran that we expect compliance." Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Germany, along with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has been at the forefront of efforts to allay concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions.