Germany to increase defense spending, but not high enough for Trump

Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel met at the White House in late April

Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel met at the White House in late April Credit KEVIN LAMARQUE REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday pushed back against Washington's rejection of the Iran nuclear deal, saying the accord helped outside powers anxious about Tehran's regional role to pursue their concerns with the Islamic Republic.

"This agreement is not ideal, but, according to the IAEA, Iran abides by its commitments", the chancellor noted, TASS reports.

"With such destructive measures, the American government is trying to influence the will and decision of the remaining signatories of the JCPOA (nuclear agreement)", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

On Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that after talks with the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Iran in Brussels, the sides had agreed to work out practical solutions in response to the USA withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, within the next few weeks.

Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel reportedly have a strained relationship
Mr Trump and Mrs Merkel reportedly have a strained relationship Credit Mark Wilson Getty

"This agreement is everything other than ideal, but Iran is, according to all the knowledge of the global nuclear authorities, sticking to the commitments of the agreement".

European powers this week vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing, but admitted they would struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.

Germany's defense minister says Berlin will raise its military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025 — far short of the 2 percent goal demanded of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members by U.S. President Donald Trump.

She said situation will not improve after Washington's withdrawal from the deal. Therefore, despite all the difficulties, which we are facing in the current days, transatlantic relations have and retain a paramount importance, it remains invariable.

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