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      German President Warns: Iran Threatens 'New Shoah'

      German President Gauck said Germany is "very concerned" about a nuclear Iran posing a threat to Europe, as well as the Middle East.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 5/30/2012, 1:29 PM

      German President Joachim Gauck
      German President Joachim Gauck
      Reuters

      Germany is "very concerned" about Iran's nuclear program posing a threat to Europe, as well as the Middle East, German President Joachim Gauck said in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

      "I'm very concerned about Iran's nuclear program. It represents not only a concrete danger for Israel but for the whole region and potentially even for us in Europe," he said upon meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres.

      He nonetheless asserted the need for finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

      "Germany is committed to a diplomatic solution based on sanctions," he said, referring to increased sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by Western powers in an effort to curtail the regime’s nuclear ambitions.

      "Iran's president is threatening a new Shoah. We cannot ignore that," Gauck said.

      "The commitment to Israel's security and right to exist is a determining factor of Germany's politics."

      During his visit, the German President visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and met with the families of the slain Israeli athletes, who were murdered by Arab terrorists during the 1972 Munich Games 40 years ago. 

      He also met Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich, an official statement said.   

      Peres welcomed the German premier saying, “During the 47 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries, we have built an extensive network of close ties that are not solely reserved to statesmen and diplomats, but also encompass our two peoples.”

      “Within this framework there is the need for an open, sincere and candid dialogue among German and Israeli youth, in which they will discuss the past and build the future,” he said.