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Israel said Germany had a key role to play in denying Iran nuclear weaponsImage: AP

Calling on Germany

DW staff / AFP (sms)
November 3, 2006

In a meeting with his German counterpart, the Israeli defense minister urged the world, and Germany in particular, to act after Iran claimed to have fired longer-range ballistic missiles for the first time.


"Iran provoked the whole world on Thursday and it is impossible to ignore it," Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said in a statement following talks with visiting German counterpart Franz-Josef Jung.

"I have no doubt that the German defense minister understands we cannot stay indifferent while Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons and has an official ideology that advocates the destruction of Israel," Peretz added.

"The international community and of course Germany, who plays a key role in this matter, should convey these message and take steps to impose it."

Israel can "count on Germany"

Close-up of German Defense Minister Jung
Jung said his trip the Middle East has been successfulImage: AP

After their meeting, his German counterpart told reporters that Israel could "count on Germany to try to prevent this country (Iran) from getting the nuclear weapon."

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had fired three new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles on the second day of military exercises in Gulf waters, state television reported.

Launching the "Great Prophet" war games on Thursday, Iran said it fired its longer-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile for the first time amid a mounting standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

Germany as well as the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council met in New York on Friday to resume delicate discussion on sanctions against Teheran for its refusal to halt work on its nuclear program.

The informal meeting at Britain's UN mission in New York brought together envoys of Germany and the UK, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The diplomats made no comment as they headed into a new round of bargaining on a draft resolution put forward by Britain, France and Germany, which have unsuccessfully been trying to persuade Iran to scale down its nuclear ambitions.

Peacekeepers crucial for political solution

A solider watches a helicopter take off from a German ship
The German navy is tasked with keeping weapons from being smuggled to Hamas guerrillasImage: picture-alliance / dpa

Jung was in Israel following talks in Lebanon, at a time when Germany commands the marine component of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in its first military foray into the Middle East since World War II.

He said after talks with Peretz that Israel was "very satisfied with Germany's participation in UNIFIL."

While in Beirut, Jung said he expected no more shooting incidents between the Israeli army and German forces backing up a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

"I assure you that no more incidents of this kind are going to happen," he said on Friday, referring to Israeli warplanes fired shots over a helicopter and an unarmed German vessel off the Lebanese coast last week. "I would like to stress here that we are here to secure the ceasefire, which will also be a precondition for finding a political solution."

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