Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she welcomes Iran’s participation in the fight against ISIS in Syria, but Iran must change its attitude and slander towards Israel.
By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin on Monday that she would welcome Iran’s participation in the ongoing fight against ISIS in Syria, however Iran’s attitude and slander towards Israel must change.
“I think Iran has a lot of influence over what happens in Syria. And everyone is welcome to participate constructively in the negotiations,” she said.
She added, however, that Iran’s opposition to Israel needed to change in order to facilitate a joint fight in the war against ISIS. “It is not acceptable how Iran continues to talk about Israel,” Merkel said. “It is a disappointment that there has been no change as far as the recognition of Israel goes.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Israel on Monday of being founded on the basis of terror and continuing that legacy to the present day.
“This regime began its work on the basis of intimidation, terror and occupation, and is continuing [on] the same anti-human path today,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Rouhani as saying on Monday at an international conference commemorating the Iranian victims of terrorism.
Previously, most Western powers were reluctant to see Iran have any role in diplomacy over the Syrian crisis where it is the strongest supporter of President Bashar al-Assad.
Israel opposes the nuclear deal and Iran’s role in any international negotiations, saying it will not succeed in preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons and will allow the country to exert greater influence in the region.
In April, Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized the Iran deal, saying it would only provide more opportunities for Iran to fund global terror groups.
“This deal gives the world’s leading terrorist state a safe path to the bomb that threatens Israel, the Middle East and the world,” Netanyahu said.
“It leaves Iran with significant nuclear capabilities, it doesn’t dismantle them, it preserves them,” Netanyahu said.
Iran and Russia support Assad who is opposed by most Western countries.
Last week, Washington repeated its commitment to a political transition “away from” Assad after a US special envoy held talks in Moscow on how to end Syria’s more than four-year civil war.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this story.
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