Merkel: Germany to tighten Iran sanctions


MUNICH, Germany (JTA) — Germany is preparing to tighten sanctions against Iran, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Merkel made the declaration during a news conference Tuesday following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin.

Monday’s joint Cabinet meeting between Israel and Germany was the second since Merkel initiated the program in March 2008, and it was the first to be held in Germany.

Netanyahu stressed that sanctions must be stepped up now, given that Iran’s government has "shown its true face" by cracking down on its own people. He told reporters that history has shown how these kinds of governments can also tyrannize the world. 

"If we don’t impose sanctions now, then when? The answer is now," he said, urging "tough and fast" action.

Merkel did not elaborate on the extent of further sanctions, but she noted that Iran has not responded to offers for "reasonable cooperation, transparent cooperation."

Netanyahu arrived Monday with seven ministers, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

Other topics reportedly discussed during the joint Cabinet meeting included economic cooperation, environmental issues, the sale of a German submarine to Israel, the Middle East peace process and the status of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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