Mapping out a strategy on Iran without dividing the West – that was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s goal as she arrived at the White House for talks with US President George Bush. Both leaders agreed it was important for the international community to work together in the drive to limit Iran’s nuclear programme.
“The goal is clear, and that is the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon or the capacity to make a nuclear weapon,” Bush said. “And that in itself is an important diplomatic achievement. We, the chancellor and I, of course obviously agree on that.”
With China and Russia opposed to the possibility of sanctions against Iran, Merkel said it was vital for Europe and the US to put up a united front.
“What the European Union has done in this process is important and has played a crucial role,” she said. “I’m fully behind the attempts made by the EU with the United States because, right from the start, we’ve been in this together.”
The talks came as Britain and France introduced a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. The West suspects it is part of a secret nuclear weapons programme – a claim denied by the Iranian government