The United States pressured Turkey on Wednesday to join U.S. attempt on more sanctions against Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon, the State Department's top diplomat for Europe, said U.S.-Turkey relations were strong despite a row over a resolution by U.S. lawmakers branding the 1915-era incidents by Ottoman forces as "genocide."
But he said Turkey, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council that has been leery of the U.S.-led push to further punish Iran, must show it is "on board" with the move toward new sanctions.
"Many would be disappointed if Turkey is an exception to an international consensus on dealing with Iran," he told a news briefing before a speech on U.S. relations with Turkey, a fellow NATO member and pivotal regional ally to Washington.
"Turkey wants to be an important, responsible actor on the international scene. And I think joining the majority of the Security Council in doing this would reinforce that image," Gordon said.
China, a permanent, veto-wielding member of the Security Council, along with non-permanent members Turkey and Brazil, have urged more time for diplomacy with Iran, which insists its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.
But the United States and other Western powers are seeking support new U.N. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, which they fear is a cover for developing atomic weapons.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2010, 08:22