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Turkish role questioned in Iran nuclear issue
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1342 days ago | Tuesday, 15th September , 2009 , 01:38 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| â€œThe Iranians question whether Turkey can prevent a potential U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran, as Turkey had no knowledge of even the Israeli-led Gaza war last winter,â€ he said.
Azerbaijani National Movement condemns Turkeys close ties with Iranian regime.
Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu has positioned Turkey as a leading intermediary in Iranâ€™s controversial nuclear energy issue after holding talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Diplomatic sources say Ankara is merely trying to help the two sides understand each other.
After international praise for Israel-Syria and Iraq-Syria mediation efforts, Turkeyâ€™s latest move to engage with Iran regarding its nuclear program has received more positive support, though doubts remain about whether it will succeed.
â€œWe believe Iran has the right to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but we are against nuclear armament in our region,â€ Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ã–zÃ¼gergin told the HÃ¼rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Monday, while describing Turkeyâ€™s position ahead of the Sept. 24 meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Tehranâ€™s nuclear ambitions. Turkey currently holds a seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and has served as its chair once already.
After a separate meeting with European Union security chief Javier Solana in Cairo last week to discuss the nuclear situation, Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu held detailed talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ministerâ€™s Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki and Iranâ€™s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili over the weekend. On Sunday, DavutoÄŸlu said that Turkey is ready to host talks between Iran and world powers regarding Tehranâ€™s latest proposals to resolve the dispute.
Diplomatic sources told the Daily News that Turkeyâ€™s role is not tantamount to mediator between Iran and the West, considering Tehranâ€™s open communication channels with both Europe and Washington.
â€œWe are launching this initiative not because Iran and the West require it but because we would like to help the two sides understand each other better,â€ said a senior source. â€œThe two parties are speaking at odds. We tell the Western powers that Iran has a deep-rooted state tradition that should be respected and we caution the Iranians to be transparent and open to negotiations. This is not mediation,â€ stated the same source.
Iranian officials have conveyed to the Turkish minister a copy of Tehranâ€™s updated package of proposals over the nuclear debate, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council and Germany in August. The Daily News has also learned that DavutoÄŸlu is equally well informed about the Westâ€™s proposals.
Washington has not yet made a statement regarding Turkish readiness to host talks between Iran and the West, but based on statements from U.S. officials it appears the United States is set to work through the negotiation process with the U.N. Security Councilâ€™s five permanent members plus Germany, also known as P5+1, representing the international communityâ€™s position on the Iran nuclear issue.
Turkish diplomatic sources said Europe was tougher on Iran than the Obama administration, which could be tied to upcoming national elections in Europe. In Tehran, DavutoÄŸlu announced that his country would do its best to avert any new sanctions against Iran.
Turkeyâ€™s move to engage with Iran is not new. Turkish diplomats have expressed readiness for some time to facilitate dialogue between Tehran and the West over the nuclear issue. Tehran, on the other hand, remains cold to any mediation.
â€œTurkey has long insisted on playing a role, while Iran has long rejected letting Turkey play such a role. This insistence could deal a blow to Turkeyâ€™s prestige,â€ said Middle East political expert Arif Keskin, speaking to the Daily News.
He elaborated that Turkey was favoring engagement due to concerns over the possible escalation of tensions between Iran and the West, saying that Ankara believes it could use its regional influence to dissuade Tehran from taking a dangerous path, especially given the failure of Western states to negotiate successfully.
â€œIran rejects this because its negotiation mechanism with the West is not entirely closed and argues that if the nuclear row is a security problem with the West, then there is no need for third-party involvement,â€ said Keskin, making it clear that Turkey should steer clear of the situation.
â€œThe Iranians question whether Turkey can prevent a potential U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran, as Turkey had no knowledge of even the Israeli-led Gaza war last winter,â€ he said.hurriyet
Azerbaijani National Movement condemns Turkeys close ties with Iranian regime., Voice of a Nation