Angela Merkel and Heiko Maas

Germany’s Merkel Welcomes European Unity Over Iran

German Chancellor Angela Merkel states that Europe needs to “reposition” itself in a changing world and is welcoming European powers’ unity over Iran,  contrast with their strong divisions over the Iraq war sixteen years ago.

Merkel said in an interview with Germany’s daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung launched Wednesday that Europe requires “forward-looking” arguments and pressured that “simply pointing to 7 decades of peace is no longer enough to justify Europe.”

Before European Parliament elections May 23-26, she said there is “no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changing world,” in which some post-World War II certainties no more hold.

Merkel acknowledged that Europe seems weak in the standoff over Iran because, with the dollar’s role as a major global currency, it challenges to counter U.S. sanctions as it attempts to salvage the nuclear deal with Tehran. But she said that Europe has also made progress.

“Germany, France and Britain are taking a different approach from the U .S . on the question of the Iran agreement,” she was quoted as saying . “For all our other differences, we even have common interests here with Russia and China.”

“That Europe is no longer divided on this important question as it was in the Iraq war is a value in itself,” Merkel added. Germany and France opposed the U .S .-led war in Iraq in 2003, while nations including Britain and Poland supported Washington.

However, she added that Europe has a “realistic” assessment of its capabilities and “must strengthen them for the future .” She said it is building perfect progress on defense cooperation.

European leaders will make a decision “how far to let populism go, or whether we ultimately have the will to take on joint responsibility .”