Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor have stressed support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, urging all remaining parties to preserve the landmark accord despite calls from US President Donald Trump to abandon it.
"Russia and Germany resolutely stand for the continued implementation of the joint plan," Putin said during a joint press conference with Merkel in Moscow on Saturday.
The Russian leader further described the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as "tremendously important" for the global security.
"We certainly could not ignore the issue of preserving the JCPOA on Iranís nuclear program, which is vitally important not only for the region but also for the whole world," Putin said.
He pointed to Iranís recent decision to stop observing limits set by the deal on the countryís nuclear research and development, saying, "they [Iran] only suspended their voluntary commitments while they stress their readiness to go back to full compliance with the nuclear deal."
Merkel said both leaders agreed to "do anything to preserve the deal." Germany, she said, "is convinced that Iran should not have access to nuclear weapons."
"For this reason we will continue to employ all diplomatic means to keep this agreement alive, which is certainly not perfect but it is an agreement and it comprises commitments by all sides."
Iran has always said that it is not after building nuclear weapons and its aim is to make use of the civilian applications of the energy.
Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and unleashed the "toughest ever" sanctions against Iran despite global criticism.
Earlier this week, the US president urged other signatories of the deal to pull out of what had remained of the JCPOA, promising to impose new economic sanctions on Tehran.
In response, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments five times, the last of which was taken on Sunday, but stressed that it will reverse its measures as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Last week, Iran announced that it no longer observes operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the amount of enriched materials as well as research and development.