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Iran as a nuclear power would endanger world: Israeli PM

September 12, 2022

German Chancellor Scholz and Israeli Prime Minister Lapid have held talks on topics including the nuclear deal with Iran. Lapid stressed the danger that would be posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.

 German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Israeli Prime Minister Yair LapidImage: Michael Sohn/AP Photo/picture alliance

Israeli PM Yair Lapid meets Germany's Scholz on Berlin visit: DW reports

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday said joint action should be taken to prevent Iran gaining nuclear weapons, saying that it would be wrong to try to revive a landmark 2015 agreement on curbing Tehran's nuclear program.

"Returning to the agreement under current conditions would be a mistake," Lapid said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz following talks in Berlin.

It is Lapid's first visit to Germany as premier.

Controversial deal

Germany and the European Union were among the signatories of the deal, which Israel has always opposed as insufficient. The US withdrew from the deal in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, leading to Iran departing from some terms of the agreement.

Talks to revive the agreement, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, have resumed but so far without success.

Germany is among the countries urging its revival.

Speaking previously to Lapid, Scholz said that European partners had made proposals and that there was no reason for Iran not to agree.

He said he regretted that Tehran had not responded positively in the nuclear talks.

"We remain patient, but we also remain clear: Iran must be prevented from being able to deploy nuclear weapons," Scholz said.

Israeli PM Jair Lapid: 'Talk does not stop evil'

Defense cooperation

The two leaders also spoke of German-Israeli cooperation on defense.

Lapid said that Israel would help build Germany's new defense force, mainly with regard to air defense.

The Israeli prime minister also said that his country could help replace gas previously supplied by Russia, which Moscow has cut off amid tensions over its invasion of Ukraine.

Israel can deliver about 10% of the gas Europe received from Russia last year, he said.

"We are going to be part of the effort to replace Russian gas in Europe," he added.

Lapid later joined Scholz on a visit to the House of the Wannsee Conference memorial. The building is the place where senior Nazis met in 1942 to plan the bureaucracy behind the mass murder of Jews.  

"The site is a special reminder to us to keep alive the memory of the victims of the Shoah and the horrors of this crime against humanity," Scholz said, adding that the victims would not be forgotten.

Turning to Lapid, himself the son of a Holocaust survivor, Scholz said: "You can count on it: Germany stands firmly by the side of the state of Israel — Israel as a close friend and partner."

rc, tj/aw (Reuters, AFP)