Turkey: We would not like a neighbor with nuclear weapons
Turkey would not like a neighbor with nuclear weapons at its border, and said they support the view that Iran’s nuclear crisis should be solved by means of diplomacy, according to Ambassador Yigit Alpogan, National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General.
After his three-day visit to Moscow as the guest of Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Alpogan answered questions over his contacts in Moscow.
Alpogan said the issue of Iran was also thoroughly handled in his five-hour talk with Ivanov, adding “Russia is expending a lot of effort and working hard in the Iranian issue. Using nuclear energy for peaceful means is the right of Iran, too.”
The MGK Secretary-General said that they are in agreement with Russia that Iran must not reach the capacity to produce nuclear weapons as he added that Turkey will be on edge otherwise.
“This would disturb us. Frankly, we would not like a neighbor possessing nuclear weapons. We do not think this will be useful for world peace and regional stability. Turkey always gets in troubles for problems it is not directly involved in.”
Alpogan said that Turkey - though it is not involved - will be one of the countries to suffer most from an operation against Iran, let alone the damage the country suffered from the military operation against Iraq.
Alpogan said the issue must be solved through diplomatic ways and added “We support the idea of convincing Iran. Since the clashes around us damage us that much, then it is quite natural for us to prefer talks, dialogue and diplomacy. There is no other way.”
‘US will not Attack Iran this Year’
During his visit to Moscow, Alpogan told Russian officials that he does not expect a probable United States intervention in Iran to take place this year.
The reason for this, MGK Secretary-General said, is that the House of Representatives election will take place in the United States in November, but as 48 percent of the people are against a military intervention, the risk will not be taken before the elections.
Turkish officials want the problem to be solved by diplomacy within the next few months, sources said.
Turkish officials stressed that they believe the diplomatic initiatives about Iran’s nuclear program will continue until the end of this year, and they expect Iran to give a positive response to the last proposal from the European Union during this period.
Alpogan said that his first meeting with Ivanov was very positive, as he emphasized Russia and Turkey are two effective countries of Eurasia.
“It is important that we maintain dialogue at all levels and keep our channels to be open. There are several consultative channels between the two countries. We have added a new channel as MGK.”