Angela Merkel: JCPOA won't solve all of Iran's problems

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  April 27, 2018 at 1:30 PM
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April 27 (UPI) -- Though she's in Washington, D.C., to persuade President Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she agrees the accord is not sufficient to curb Tehran's bad actions.

Merkel spoke about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action during a news conference with Trump in the East Room of the White House. She is the second European leader to visit the White House this week with the expectations of pressuring Trump to keep the United States in the deal ahead of a May 12 deadline.

Trump has repeatedly called it a bad deal and said he wants out of it, while British, French and German leaders have negotiated with U.S. officials in recent months to keep the pact together.

"We are of the opinion that the JCPOA is the first step that has contributed to the slowing down of activities," Merkel said. "But we also think ... that this is not sufficient in order to see to it that Iran's ambitions are curbed and are contained.

She said the agreement "is anything but perfect" and that "it will not solve all the problems of Iran." She described the JCPOA as one piece in the plan to limit Iran's bad actions.

But Merkel said it's of "prime importance" to Germany to tackle the threat of Iran as it exerts "geopolitical influence in Syria."

Merkel said she anticipates more discussions with U.S. officials on the deal.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited earlier in the week and after multiple days of talks, he told reporters he wasn't optimistic that the United States would stay in the deal.

"My view -- I don't know what your president will decide -- is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons," he said, adding it would be a "big risk" and "very insane in the medium to long-term" to pull out of the accord.

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and reduce its number of gas centrifuges. Some of the restrictions on Iran are scheduled to be lifted after 10 and 15 years.

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