Turkey has rejected the new round of sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council (UNSC), saying world powers should have given the Tehran declaration a chance.
Turkey and Brazil — the two non-permanent member of the UNSC which issued a May 17 nuclear fuel swap declaration with Iran — voted against the anti-Iran resolution and Lebanon abstained from vote on Wednesday.
Turkey’s UN Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan said there was “no viable alternative to a diplomatic and peaceful solution” to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
“The Tehran nuclear declaration has created a new reality with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. The declaration which was designed as a confidence-building measure would, if implemented, contribute to the resolution of the substantive issues relating to Iran’s nuclear program in a positive and constructive atmosphere,” he said.
He criticized the Vienna Group — consisting of the United States, France and Russia — for submitting their response to the Tehran declaration only a few hours before new sanctions were adopted against Iran.
“The fact that the response is of negative nature and that it was sent on the day of the adoption of sanctions had a determining effect on our position,” he added.
World powers, most of which possess and continue to develop vast nuclear arsenals that have been tested and even used in military confrontations, accuse Iran of having the “intention” to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels and have gone to great lengths to prevent the country from obtaining fuel for medical research reactor.
As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran insists that it neither believes in nuclear weapons, nor, as a matter of religious principles, does it intend to access such weapons of mass-destruction.