In These New Times

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Erdogan backs Iran’s nuclear work, rejects arms

Posted by seumasach on January 14, 2010


14th January, 2010

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thrown his weight behind Iran despite recent threats by Washington for new sanctions against Tehran.

Speaking at the State University of Moscow on Wednesday, Erdogan called for fair and just treatment of Tehran regarding its nuclear program and expressed his disapproval of the blatantly unchecked possession of nuclear arms by some ‘other’ countries in the region.

“We do not want nuclear weapons in our region. But it would be unfair to ask one country not to obtain nuclear weapons while another country in the region already has them,” the Turkish ‘Zaman’ daily quoted Erdogan as saying.

In an indirect reference to Israel’s nuclear arsenal, the Turkish prime minister criticized the dual stance of major powers on Iran’s nuclear issue, calling for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff.

“If those who have the power do not act in a just manner, then the world will be a place where right and wrong are not distinguishable. There will be no global peace in such a world,” he said.

Israel and its staunch ally, the United States, have been accusing the Islamic Republic of pursuing military applications under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a claim vehemently rejected by Iran.

Iran says its nuclear work is totally peaceful and under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Erdogan’s remarks come in the wake of a diplomatic feud between Turkey and Israel, following Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalonan “undiplomatic behavior,” which included forcing Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol to sit on a lower seat and refusing to shake his hand.

Turkey has officially announced its opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons by any country, particularly Israel, calling on the international community to force the country to dismantle its nuclear weapons.

Tel Aviv is in possession of over 200 nuclear war heads, although it has never openly acknowledged this. Israel’s nuclear arms are believed to be the major threat to the Middle East region.

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