Merkel reaffirms readiness to impose more sanctions on Iran

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday reaffirmed Germany's readiness to back tougher sanctions against Iran if it fails to back down in the dispute over its nuclear ambitions. Before a weekend visit to US President George W. Bush's Texas ranch, Merkel also stressed her commitment to a diplomatic resolution of the issue. In her acceptance speech for the Leo Baeck Prize - the highest honor of Germany's Central Council of Jews - Merkel stressed "the special historic responsibility of Germany for the security and existence of Israel." "I am aware that, in view of the threat to Israel from Iran's nuclear program, these cannot remain empty words," she said.