Turkey Seeks to Help Solution of Iran’s N. Issue

r24.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara is set to take up a role in easing the process of talks between the world powers and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear issue, a source in the Turkish foreign ministry said.

“Turkey is continuing its efforts to contribute to these talks,” a source in Turkey’s Foreign Ministry told TrendNews.

The decision by Ankara followed recent remarks by the US presidential hopeful Senator Barak Obama, who stated in an interview with NBC on 5 May that “Talks should be held among the region countries including Turkey in connection with the nuclear threats of Iran which have been lasting for a long time.”

Meantime, Turkish Foreign Ministry voiced Ankara’s strong support for Iran’s right to use nuclear energy as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Turkey also thinks that possession of nuclear weapons will not have a positive impact on the security of any country of the region,” the unnamed source stated.

Ankara hopes that the problem of Iran’s nuclear program will be solved peacefully and that the atmosphere of distrust between Iran and the international community will end, he added.

Turkey can mediate between Iran and the US and other countries involved with the nuclear issues, the Ministry source said, adding that Turkey does not take part in the disputed process between Iran and the six world powers (five permanent UN Security Council members – Russia, China, Britain, France and the US – plus Germany).

Yet, Ankara is trying to ease the process, he reiterated.

“Ankara hosted the meeting between the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and (former) Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani in April 2007,” the source reminded, saying that Turkey will continue support to talks on Iran’s nuclear issue.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

Iran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency’s questions about the history of its nuclear program.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Tehran says it wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

US President George W. Bush finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of Washington’s regional allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.

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