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Merkel Proposes to Discuss Iranian Missile Program – Statement

© AP Photo / Vahid Salemia Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran
a Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran - Sputnik International
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BERLIN (Sputnik) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel held on Thursday a phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and proposed him to discuss Tehran’s missile program and activities in Syria and Yemen, the German government’s press service said in a statement.

"The chancellor called for holding negotiations with Iran and an extended number of states on its ballistic missile program as well as on its international activities including those in Yemen and Syria," the statement said.

The conversation was held two days after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iranian nuclear deal.

Iran continues to develop its missile program as it is not a part of the JCPOA, which is sharply criticized by the United States and Israel.

Members of the Syrian police hold their weapons as they sit on a back of a truck at the city of Douma, Damascus, Syria April 16, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Iran is also actively involved in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria supporting Shia forces in these countries – the Houthi movement called Ansar Allah in Yemen and the Syrian government headed by President Bashar Assad, who belongs to the Alawite minority.

Meanwhile, The European Union on Thursday called on Iran and Israel to avoid the escalation of tensions in light of recent developments in Syria.

"Reports about last night's Iranian attacks against Israeli army posts from inside Syria to which Israel responded by striking against Iranian targets in Syria are extremely worrying," the Spokesperson for the EU External Action Service said in a statement.

"As the EU has said repeatedly, Israel has the right to defend itself. At the same time, we call on all regional actors to show restraint and avoid any escalation, which could further undermine regional stability," the statement said.

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