Istanbul to host Iran nuclear talks in April

Istanbul to host Iran nuclear talks in April

MADRID / ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul to host Iran nuclear talks in April

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (L) salutes at the end of a news conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara, Jan. 19. AP photo

The expected meeting between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries (the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) will be held in Istanbul in early April, according to Turkey’s top diplomat.

Speaking to daily Radikal on his way back from Nakhchivan to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the target should be for Iran to halt uranium enrichment. In this context, the May 2010 Tehran Agreement between Turkey, Iran and Brazil, which was rejected by the West, was a huge “missed opportunity,” he said. Davutoğlu said this agreement would have allowed the international community to take 1,800 kg of enriched uranium from Iran, out of a total of 3,000 kg. “If that agreement was accepted, Iran would have taken the uranium it needed from abroad, halting the process of enrichment.” Regarding Iran’s oil exports, Davutoğlu said Turkey will take into consideration U.N. decisions. He also said Iran had to choose between “the gain and loss of sanctions and the gain and loss of nuclear power.”

Meanwhile, Davutoğlu also said Turkey and the region are bracing for “crucial” diplomacy traffic on Syria. He reminded Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s March 28 visit to Tehran, the March 29 Arab League summit, and finally, the Istanbul conference on Syria which will be held in early April. Davutoğlu said Turkey will continue to talk with Russia on the issue, regardless of the differences of opinion.

Commenting on Iran’s position, Davutoğlu said: “They still favor reforms under the Bashar al-Assad rule. But our trust has ended. We say that Assad should transfer his authorities. Both Iran and Russia were expecting that Assad would take back control. But now they are [looking for] alternatives, not standing behind Assad as

they used to do in July. Both countries are concerned over the post-Assad [era].”