Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed what he described as "blindness" on Israel's nuclear arsenal against an international concerted action over Iran's nuclear program.
Turkey often calls for "fair" stance from global powers over nuclear activities in the region.
"Israel has atomic bombs and it refuses to comply to the NPT. But no one is imposing sanctions on it. How do you explain that? Then, this world is not a fair world. One scrutinizes Israel as much as one does for North Korea," Erdogan told Charlie Rose Show in a televised interview on PBS on Monday.
Israel recently has refused US and international calls to sign Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its facilities for IAEA perusal.
Responding to a question whether Iran could be persuaded by a nuclear swap deal crafted by Turkey and Brazil, Erdogan said Iran had vowed to meet certain conditions by signing the Tehran agreement.
"We care about the promises Tehran has made, which pledged to enrich uranium only for peaceful purposes. We care about the ten articles of the agreement. If Tehran fails to comply to those articles we will impose sanctions ourselves," Erdogan said.
Erdogan said Iran was being punished over a mere possibility that it could make nuclear weapons in the future.
Israel, most experts estimate that it has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens the Islamic republic with an attack.
Responding to a question over Turkish-U.S. relations, Erdogan said the two countries were "in a good dialogue."
"We have upgraded our strategic partnership to a model partnership and we are in solidarity," Erdogan said.
"No leadership role in Muslim world"
The Turkish premier rejected allegations that Turkey's foreign policy direction is shifting, saying "Turkey is the same Turkey, nothing has changed and we remain where we were. This is us in the process of normalization," Erdogan said.
Commenting on recent remarks which claimed that there had been a decline in Turkey's enthusiasm in its EU membership process and the country now looked at a different direction, Erdogan said certain EU-member countries could not leave behind their prejudices about Turkey.
Noting that some chapters in Turkey's negotiation process with the union were being prevented by several countries, Erdogan said his country was determined to carry on with its EU bid.
Erdogan also noted that it was natural for Turkey to establish good relations with its neighbors, adding his country also improved its ties with the Caucasus region and the Mediterranean.
Erdogan said Turkey did not seek a leadership role in the Muslim world, adding that their goal was to make Turkey one of the world's ten biggest economies and to raise the country to the level of "contemporary civilizations."
Related news reports:Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2010, 15:13