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Merkel Says U.S. Pullout From Iran Nuke Deal Undermines 'Global Order'


German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on May 11 that the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal undermines confidence in the global order.

Merkel said the deal to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions was far from perfect, but stressed it should not be "unilaterally terminated" since it had been approved by the UN Security Council.

Speaking at a Catholic religious gathering dedicated to peace in the German city of Muenster, Merkel said, "the extent to which we can keep this deal alive something we need to discuss with Iran."

Merkel also spoke by telephone on May 11 with Russian President Vladimir Putin and efforts to preserve the deal were the main topic of discussion, according to both Berlin and Moscow.

Merkel will travel to Russia on May 18 for talks with Putin set to include the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said.

Ushakov said that Putin will also meet Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 14.

Ushakov added that Moscow was working closely with Iran to convince it not to walk away from the deal.

"We really hope this won't happen. Honestly, we are working with Iran in favor of it not leaving," Ushakov told journalists in Moscow on May 11.

U.S. President Donald Trump, a longtime critic of the 2015 accord, announced on May 8 that the United States was pulling out, citing what he said were major flaws.

The deal was brokered after nearly 20 months of negotiation between Iran and the United States, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and France, as well as the European Union.

On May 10, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, agreed during talks in Moscow that the deal should remain in force.

Meanwhile, the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is due to host a meeting of the German, French, and British foreign ministers on May 15 in Brussels to discuss the accord.

Germany and France have important trade interests in Iran.

"Our determination is to keep this agreement in place. Obviously we need the only country that can unilaterally destroy this agreement to stay committed, which is Iran," Mogherini said.

In a statement on May 11, the EU said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was also due to join the talks.

Zarif will leave Iran late on May 12 to visit Beijing, Moscow, and Brussels to hold talks with all of the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said on May 11 in Tehran.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, dpa, and AFP

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