Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Reports on US to launch attack on Iran are false

Turkey said on Monday that newspaper reports, which stated the US had asked Ankara for permission to use military bases in Turkey for possible attacks on neighboring Iran, are not connected to reality. READ MORE

It was reported in the Turkish media and other newspapers in other countries that a series of high-profile US visitors to Ankara in recent months were in preparation for US strikes from Turkey against Iran’s nuclear facilities. This speculation has no connection with reality,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The United States accuses Iran of seeking to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the accusation but insists on its right to produce enriched uranium, a vital component for nuclear power plants or bombs.

Turkey considers that the problems in its region should be resolved by dialogue and negotiations. It believes our region does not need any new problems and that everyone should fulfil their responsibilities with this aim in mind,” the statement said.

The foreign ministry named no newspapers, but Israel’s Jerusalem Post, Germany’s Tagesspiegel and Turkey’s Sabah newspaper are among those that have published reports speculating that the United States would like to be able to use Turkish soil if it decided to launch an attack on Iran. The heads of both the FBI and the CIA have visited Ankara in recent weeks and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is also expected in the Turkish capital in early 2006.

Iran on Monday dealt a new blow to a compromise offer from Russia on its nuclear program, saying it would only consider such a deal if it acknowledged the Islamic Pepublic’s right to enrich uranium on Iranian soil.