Turkey lobbies as UN sanctions vote on Iran set despite deal

Erdogan said that the international community should show a fair stance and react to not only Iran but also other regional countries that have nuclear weapons.

Turkey lobbies as UN sanctions vote on Iran set despite deal

The Turkish foreign minister continued on Wednesday his talks with Western countries and Iran before a United Nations (UN) Security Council vote on possible sanctions on Iran.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke to Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, and Iran's Supreme National Security Council's Secretary Saeed Jalili.

Davutoglu continued to convey to Western countries Turkey's stance and concerns over sanctions on Iran, and recommended them not to miss the opportunity seized with the uranium swap agreement.

The Turkish minister suggests Iran not to leave the negotiation table.

The 15-nation council meets at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) to vote on a draft resolution.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Ecuador on Tuesday that it would be the "the most significant sanctions Iran has ever faced."

"Fair stance"

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that the international community should show a fair stance and react to not only Iran but also other regional countries that have nuclear weapons.

Erdogan addressed the "Millennium Development Goals Regional Conference" organized in Istanbul by Turkey's State Planning Organization, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

Erdogan said, "all countries in the world must know that crimes they committed and rules they violated will not be unreciprocated. A fair stance must be displayed against these states."

Reiterating that Turkey does not want nuclear weapons in its region, Erdogan recalled that Turkey and Brazil signed a uranium swap deal with Iran which he said was "a diplomatic victory."

Erdogan said Turkey and Brazil achieved a diplomatic victory for the sake of regional and global peace."

"The international community, which shows a rightful sensitivity against Iran's having nuclear weapons, must show the same reaction to nuclear weapons of other countries in the region," he said.

"There must be a reaction that could satisfy everyone."

Israel, most experts estimate that it has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens the Islamic republic with an attack.

"Response to Turkey-Brazil deal"

The United States, France and Russia, the three powers -- known as the Vienna group -- handed their views on the deal here to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano just hours before the UN Security Council meeting.

The IAEA confirmed receipt of the three countries' responses but did not reveal the content of their letters.

Nevertheless, comments by Washington's envoy to the IAEA's closed-door session more or less set out the countries' concerns about the deal concluded with Brazil and Turkey, even if they stopped short of rejecting it outright.

Iran's proposed arrangement for the supply of fuel for a research reactor in Tehran "provides no alternative means of ensuring that the confidence-building element of the arrangement would be maintained," US ambassador Glyn Davies told the IAEA's 35-member board of governors.

Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad warned US-West ahead of sanctions vote.

"They should make best use of it (the agreement), opportunities will not be repeated," Ahmadinejad told a press conference in Istanbul on the sidelines of an Asian summit.

"Sanctions"

The US-drafted sanctions resolution, co-sponsored by Britain and France with the backing of Russia and China, would expand an arms embargo, target Iran's banking sector and ban the country from activities like uranium mining.

It would authorize states to conduct high-sea inspections of vessels believed to be ferrying banned items for Iran and add 40 entities to a list of people and groups subject to travel restrictions and financial sanctions.

Among those subject to the travel restrictions under the resolution would be Javad Rahiqi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's Isfahan nuclear technology center.

According to the draft text, 22 of the entities are linked to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, 15 are "owned, controlled, or acting on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps" and three are controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The resolution is certain to be voted despite efforts by Brazil and Turkey to promote a nuclear fuel swap deal they reached with Tehran last month.

Only Brazil, Turkey and Lebanon -- three non-permanent council members -- have openly voiced opposition to the latest round of sanctions. It remains unclear whether they will vote against or abstain.

With the agreement signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim in Tehran on May 17, Iran committed to give the 1200kg of 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20% enriched uranium it will receive from Western countries to be used as fuel in the nuclear research reactor in Tehran.

Tehran will receive the enriched uranium from the Vienna Group, comprising of the United States, France, Russia and IAEA, in Turkey.


Agencies

Last Mod: 09 Haziran 2010, 18:37
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