Merkel talks tough on Iran
Photo: AP

Merkel to Iran: Time is running out

German chancellor says tougher sanctions would constitute 'tragedy' for Iranians

German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a tough position vis-à-vis Iran Monday in the annual reception for German diplomats, warning that Tehran can expect tougher sanctions should it fail to cooperate with the West.


"Time is running out," Merkel was quoted as saying by the DPA news agency, adding that tighter sanctions would constitute a "tragedy" for Iranian citizens.


Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim Monday and stressed that Iran's nuclear ambitions are far from innocent.


It's clear that Tehran, which possesses gas and oil reservoirs, is not developing nuclear capabilities for peaceful means, Lieberman said.


The five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany have been discussing the prospect of tighter sanctions on Iran, but no decision has been taken yet.


Merkel's comments coincided with a report by German Magazine Der Spiegel that warns of Iran's progress in building nuclear weapons.


Iran's scientists could produce a basic truck-sized nuclear bomb this year, Der Spiegel said in its report.


Tehran now needs to work on compressing such bomb so it can be fitted on a ballistic missile, the magazine said. According to estimates, Iran could reach that stage by sometime between 2012 and 2014.


Der Spiegel's report was based on secret intelligence information handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency.


פרסום ראשון: 01.25.10, 23:16
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