German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected U.S. calls to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and cancel a controversial gas pipeline project with Russia.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Merkel criticized Iran’s policies towards Israel, its ballistic missile program and its involvement in Syria and Yemen, but she also defended the nuclear deal with Tehran.
“Would canceling the only remaining agreement with Iran help our common goal to contain its negative impact?” Merkel asked, and reaffirmed that Germany will stay in the deal signed in 2015.
Her remarks came after the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called on European allies to leave the deal and join Washington’s diplomatic and economic pressure campaign against Iran.
Merkel also dismissed U.S. calls to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would carry Russian gas to Germany directly across the Baltic Sea.
She argued that Nord Stream 2 pipeline would not make Europe dependent on Russia, as Europe has many energy terminals to receive more LNG from the U.S.
“As Germany will phase out coal and nuclear power, we will certainly be an interesting market for the natural gas in the next couple of years,” she said.
Merkel also warned that abandoning trade deals with Russia would make other powers like China to benefit from this.
By Ayhan Simsek in Munich