Friday, February 29, 2008

German Jewish leader urges Merkel to back Israel's stance on Iran, Feb. 29, 2008


Munich - The leader of Germany's Jewish community called on the German government Thursday to support Israel in the dispute over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Israel's intelligence community has information about a threat posed by Iran that strongly contradicted the "loose" assessment of the United States, said Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

The council expects German to support the Israeli view that a hard line needs to be taken against Tehran, Knobloch said after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to a new Jewish center in Munich.

Merkel said there were suspicions that Iran's nuclear program "does not conform to the rules of transparency and one cannot be certain, therefore, that it serves peaceful purposes."

The chancellor, who plans to visit Israel with members of her cabinet in the middle of March, said Germany had a special responsibility towards the Jewish state.

Knobloch said after the meeting that Merkel told her she believed the United Nations Security Council could tighten sanctions against Iran, despite diverging views among its members.

Continued . . .
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