Turkey’s Erdoğan names U.N. sanctions ‘mistake’
Turkey and Brazil, voted "no" against sanctions, yet U.N. agreed to pass the sanctions. Turkish PM said they would continue seeking solution.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday called U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programme a "mistake" and said Turkey and Brazil would continue to seek a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
Turkey and Brazil, who hold temporary seats on the Security Council, Turkey, along with Brazil, voted against the U.S.-backed sanctions on Wednesday. The two countries brokered a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran in May. The U.S. and some of its allies say that accord does not address core concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, which they say may be aimed at building a bomb.
Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s vote yesterday against new United Nations sanctions on Iran does not mean the country has turned against the West.
“The vote we cast does not mean that we have preferred Iran over the West and the United States,” Davutoğlu said last night in an interview with Turkey’s Channel 24. “We wanted to have an atmosphere in which negotiations can be conducted after this decision.”
Turkey’s vote was “not a surprise” for the United States, Davutoğlu said. “Our position was well-known by all.”
Davutoğlu said Turkey, as “the only member of the UN Security Council that is a neighbor country” to Iran, will continue its previous policy of enforcing sanctions approved by the council, though it believes they should be lifted.
He said that if the sanctions were removed, Turkey’s trade with Iran would triple to $30 billion.
Davutoğlu said the swap deal agreed with Iran last month, under which Iran would exchange enriched uranium for fuel usable in its Tehran medical-research reactor, was based on a letter sent to both Turkey and Brazil by U.S. President Barack Obama in April. He said Turkey remains committed to a nuclear weapon-free region.