Monday, September 04, 2006

Merkel rules out military option for dealing with Iran

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined there can be "no military option" for dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, a spokesman said Monday.

"The door for negotiations remains open," said chief German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm. READ MORE

Wilhelm added: "The chancellor has expressed the view that there is no military option."

US President George W. Bush has repeatedly said he does not rule out any option for dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, which is widely believed to be aimed at building nuclear weapons.

Iran rejects this and says its uranium enrichment is for peaceful purposes. Tehran refused to comply with a United Nations directive that it cease uranium enrichment by August 31.

European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana is due to meet with top Iranian negotiators this week for talks.

Senior diplomats from the three EU states negotiating with Iran - Britain, France, and Germany - along with their counterparts from the United States, Russia and China, will meet in Berlin on Thursday to discuss the Iran crisis.