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Israel urged Germany to stand strong on the need for tougher international pressure against Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hosted German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Jerusalem on Thursday for talks about regional security.

“On the Iranian issue, the prime minister stressed the importance he ascribes to Germany’s strong support of the continued expansion of sanctions against Iran,” Olmert’s office said in a statement.

Representatives of Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are scheduled to meet in London on Friday to discuss passing a third round of sanctions against Iran after it defied earlier attempts by the international community to curb its nuclear program.

While Germany has been vocal in its opposition to the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad given his Holocaust denials and calls for Israel’s elimination, some Jerusalem officials have privately questioned Berlin’s determination on the nuclear issue.

Many political analysts believe that, given its belligerent history, contemporary Germany would be unwilling to enter a stand-off with Tehran that could trigger Western or Israeli preemptive military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

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