German chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday repeated a call for all parties to respect the Iranian nuclear accord, despite Iran's decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium and moves by the United States to impose economic sanctions.
Under a deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.
"We agreed that we should do anything to preserve the deal, the JCPOA. Germany is convinced that Iran should not acquire or have nuclear weapons," Merkel said during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday.
"For this reason we will continue to employ all diplomatic means to keep this agreement alive, which is certainly not perfect but it is an agreement and it comprises commitments by all sides," Merkel said.
Unlike the United States, which on Friday imposed new economic sanctions on Iran, the Europeans have given Tehran more time to avoid nuclear proliferation rather than begin a process that could lead to a reimposition of UN sanctions.
Last Wednesday Trump urged European leaders to abandon the deal, saying, "Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Greece, France, Russia and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal, or JCPOA. And we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place."