A deal to freeze or roll back Iran’s nuclear development program is looking unlikely as a final deadline for talks approaches.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Tuesday during his state visit to the country the current reality shows no promise of a deal between world powers and Tehran. She added that Iran’s nuclear technology has advanced considerably over the last decade, but said if a comprehensive agreement was reached, it might prevent further development.
Merkel also told Rivlin that Germany remains completely committed to the safety and security of the State of Israel; a diplomatic relationship that has lasted 50 years, officially as of this week.
Both leaders stressed their mutual regard and friendship for each other in their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, despite differences of opinion on what do regarding Iran.
In his response, Israel’s president said that tougher sanctions are likely to prove more effective in controlling Iran’s race towards the bomb than the current measures that are in place.
Rivlin added that if attacked, Israel reserves the right to defend herself to the best of her ability.
Why sell German arms to Israel?
At a visit to a school in Berlin prior to her meeting with Israel’s president, Merkel was questioned by a student over Germany’s decision to continue to sell arms to the Jewish State.
Merkel answered that Germany is obligated to defend Israel because six million Jews lost their lives under the Nazi regime during World War II.
The question, however, reflects a growing anti-Zionist trend in Germany that one can see in the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.
The chancellor told the student that Germany continues to believe in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She added that she would raise the issue with Israel’s president – which she did – but made it clear that the issue of Israel-PA politics was separate and apart from that of Israel’s defense.
“We sell weapons to Israel, which is often under attack, because we believe that Israel must have the ability to defend itself,” she said.
Earlier this week, Israel and Germany signed an agreement for the purchase from Germany of four new naval vessels to protect Israel’s Mediterranean offshore oil and gas rigs. The reciprocal deal also includes a purchase from Israel of military hardware; most likely that with which the vessels will be equipped before they are delivered.