Putin, Merkel reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal: Kremlin

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Moscow, May 11 (AFP) Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone conversation today reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the Iran nuclear deal after the US pulled out of it, the Kremlin said.

“The situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the unilateral withdrawal of the US was discussed. The importance of preserving the deal from a point of view of international and regional stability was highlighted,” the Kremlin said in a statement following the call.

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria as well as Merkel’s planned working visit to Russia next week, the Kremlin said.

US President Donald Trump this week defied the wishes of world powers when he announced that Washington would withdraw from the historic nuclear accord and impose new sanctions on Tehran.

Merkel has previously said Germany and its European partners would “do everything” to ensure Iran remains in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, while Putin has voiced “deep concern” at the US decision.

The Russian president also spoke with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier today, with the pair saying Trump was “wrong” to pull out of the accord, according to a Turkish presidential source.

After long negotiations, Iran agreed in July 2015 to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of punishing international sanctions.

The deal had been negotiated between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany.

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