Turkey warns US about Iran nukes
Metehan Demir, The Jerusalem Post:
Iran is irreversibly bent on having nuclear weapons and the US must engage in direct talks with Teheran on the matter, Turkish Ambassador to the United States told a Washington think tank Wednesday.
"Iran's nuclear weapons would be a serious threat to security in the Middle East. The European Union's effort is unlikely to succeed. Direct US-Iran talks are needed," Ambassador Faruk Logoglu said. READ MORE
Logoglu, who served in the past as an undersecretary in the Turkish foreign ministry, suggested that the United States come up with a carrot-and-stick tactic for convincing Iran to stop its attempts to develop nuclear weapons. He suggested that the "carrot" should come from the US, but added that "I don't think is likely in 2006."
Logoglu's on-the-record remarks to the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies marked the first time a Turkish ambassador has spoken out on Iran's suspicious nuclear activities in such a clear and accusing way.
Warning Washington that tensions between the US and Iran will affect Turkey's relations with the US, Logoglu stressed that the Iranian situation will inevitably affect Turkey.
The ambassador's remarks follow an Ankara court's decision last Friday that terrorism is the instrument of Iranian foreign policy and that Teheran will not hesitate to use terrorism against its rival to achieve its goals. Last month, Turkey's key National Security Policy Document singled out Iran as a potential source of instability and uncertainty in the region due to its suspicious nuclear programs.
Turkish sources said that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to visit Ankara in mid-January, and similar Turkish worries over Iranian nuclear activities would be raised during the talks.