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Turkey backs Iran, restates diplomacy

20 April 2010 8:56

Turkey says that it has always supported Iran’s stance on its nuclear issue and has reemphasized that any coercive measure against Tehran would prove ineffective.

“Turkey has always supported Iran’s stance when it comes to the nuclear program,” said visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday.

The Turkish official rejected any punitive measures against Iran, saying that the Iranian nuclear issue could best be resolved through diplomatic means.

“We need to resort to diplomatic means to solve the problem and military means, attacks, sanctions or embargoes will not be fruitful,” he stated, adding that all nations are entitled to peaceful nuclear energy, but atomic weapons have no place in the world.

“Having access to nuclear energy is the right of all nations but we need to oppose atomic weapons no matter where they are in the world because they endanger the future of mankind and they would create problems.”

Despite the fact that the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into effect 40 years ago to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, the very possession of thousands of nuclear weapons by certain countries has deeply disturbed the international community.

While accusing Iran of working toward a military nuclear program without any evidence, the US is one of the biggest nuclear-armed states and the one and only one to have used them against another country.

On a UN-backed deal that would provide fuel for Tehran’s research reactor, the top diplomat said that Turkey would be willing to act as a mediator and Ankara would “do its best” to see what it could do for the fuel swap.

Turning to economic cooperation, Davutoglu said that energy cooperation between Iran and Turkey is ongoing and that he hoped it would increase in the near future.

Mottaki, for his part, hailed the growing economic relations between Tehran and Ankara, saying that he hoped the volume of bilateral trade would rise to $20 billion.

Regarding the fuel swap, Mottaki said that it still stands and could act as a “confidence-building” measure for both Iran and the other side.

He added that Iran would stick to its “logical stance” on its nuclear energy program.

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