File photo of Angela Merkel. Photograph:( AFP )
'I would naturally be happy if there were talks between the United States and Iran,' she told reporters at the United Nations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Iran's demands for US sanctions relief were "unrealistic" as she met separately with the rival nations' presidents.
"I would naturally be happy if there were talks between the United States and Iran," she told reporters at the United Nations.
But she dismissed Iran's demands that the United States lift all its sanctions before any high-level talks can take place.
"I think that that's unrealistic," she said after separate talks with US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Trump, addressing the General Assembly, threatened to impose even more sanctions on Iran after it was accused of carrying out an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure.
Watch: Iran's central bank hit with sanctions
French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are also meeting with both leaders as part of an international push to defuse tensions.
"Now more than ever is the time for negotiations among Iran, the United States, the signatories of the JCPOA and regional powers, centered on the region's security and stability," Macron told the United Nations, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Trump last year bolted from an international accord on Iran's nuclear program and infuriated the clerical regime by unilaterally trying to end all of its oil exports.