German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today she was “very optimistic” that diplomacy could solve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.
“Diplomacy is the path we are taking,” Merkel said in an interview to be broadcast by ZDF television. “I am really determined to do everything so that the international community stays together on this path as far as possible. I think that will make an impression on Iran.”
“I am truly optimistic, I would even say very optimistic, that we can do everything to solve this conflict with diplomatic means,” she said.
Merkel was not asked about, and did not address, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy’s assertion earlier today that Iran’s nuclear activity is a cover for a secret weapons programme.
“I see my task, Germany’s task, and Germany has taken on a clear responsibility here along with Great Britain and France – not just for Europe but also with Russia and the United States – in taking this diplomatic path,” Merkel said. “This diplomatic path has every chance of success.”
The UN nuclear watchdog agency earlier this month referred Iran to the UN Security Council, and Iran has since resumed small-scale uranium enrichment last week – a process that it says is not aimed at making weapons.
Merkel described as a “huge success” the large majority by which Iran was referred to the Security Council after Germany, Britain and France declared long-running talks with Tehran aimed at defusing the issue at a dead end.
“I think Iran will understand the language that it is not just the West or Europe and America that are against it, but that everyone has certain demands,” she said.