Turkey embraces Iran’s nuke stance

Turkey embraces Iran’s nuke stance

TEHRAN - Daily News
Turkey embraces Iran’s nuke stance

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) greets visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the second day of his two-day official visit to Iran. Erdoğan voiced Turkey’s support for Tehran’s controversial nuclear ambitions after the meeting. AA Photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday voiced Turkey’s unwavering support for Tehran’s nuclear ambitions after meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an official statement.

“The government and nation of Turkey has always clearly supported the nuclear positions of the
Islamic Republic of Iran and will continue to firmly follow the same policy in the future,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying in the statement, issued by Ahmadinejad’s office after a one and a half hour meeting.
Ahmadinejad thanked Turkey for its “clear and frank” stance on the issue, the statement added. The meeting was originally scheduled for March 28 but due to Ahmadinejad’s illness it was postponed to yesterday.

There were conflicting reports that he suffers from hypertension and gastrorrhegia. A day before the meeting, Erdoğan slammed the bellicose language directed against Iran, saying: “Military threats against a country that seeks to master peaceful nuclear technology are not acceptable.”

Khamanei meeting

Ahmadinejad said Iran and Turkey should broaden their relations in political, economic, and cultural fields, as well as increase the volume of their trade transactions. “Iran and Turkey should try to expand bilateral and regional relations, as well as increase the volume of their trade transactions, by making use of existing potential and capacities. This is because further expansion in political, economic and cultural ties are in the interest of the advancement, welfare, and security of both nations,” the Iranian official news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

Erdoğan met later yesterday with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei for two hours, before flying back to Ankara.

Iran announced on March 28 that long-stalled talks with world powers on its nuclear program would be held on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed. “The date has been set as April 13, but the negotiations for the venue are still ongoing,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.

Salehi added that a “suggestion” from the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) for a venue had been received and was being studied, and the location would “be announced soon.” Tehran says it prefers Istanbul as the venue, but Erdoğan said there had been no agreement yet on the venue, ahead of his meeting with Ahmadinejad.

Talks in Turkey: adviser

Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy adviser İbrahim Kalın said the nuclear talks will resume in Turkey in April on his Twitter account. “Nuclear negotiations will resume in Turkey on April. War discourse is wrong and dangerous.”

The last round of Iran/P5+1 talks was held in Istanbul in January 2011 and ended in failure. The round before that, in late 2010, was in Geneva.