Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Merkel: Iranian threat to Israel threatens us all
German chancellor addresses US Congress, says 'nuclear weapon at the hands of an Iranian president who denies the Holocaust, threatens Israel and negates its right to exist is simply unacceptable'
WASHINGTON – German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke before the US Congress on Tuesday and said that the Iranian threat to Israel was "a threat to the free world. Anyone threatening Israel threatens us all. The safety of the State of Israel is nonnegotiable. It never was and it never will be." In a speech marking the 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Merkel said that Iran must understand that the West is not willing to compromise on its atom program: "We must show zero tolerance to the possibility of Iran getting hold of nuclear weapons. It threatens us all," she said, to roaring applause.
Addressing Iran's stalled response to the West's and the International Atomic Energy Agency's draft proposal, meant to regulate its nuclear program, Merkel said that "Iran knows the specifics of our proposal and it should also know where we will draw our red line.
"A nuclear weapon at the hands of an Iranian president who denies the Holocaust, threatens Israel and negates its right to exist is simply unacceptable."
Prior to addressing the congress, Merkel met with US President Barack Obama. The two reportedly discussed Iran, the war in Afghanistan and various climate issues.
Merkel also spoke of the need to formulate an international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol – the United Nations' framework to battle global warming.