Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Erdogan defends Iran’s nuclear right
The Turkish prime minister defends Iran’s right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology, saying that Iran’s right is not ‘questionable’.
Speaking at an Istanbul forum, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Tehran’s nuclear activities should not be the only one under focus.
“Iran’s nuclear program should not be the only one under focus, other countries possessing nuclear weapons should be questioned as well,” Hurriyet Daily News quoted Erdogan as saying.
He also called on the international community to ease its concern about Iran’s nuclear program.
“I firmly believe that the international community’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program should be eased,” the premier added.
He also stressed Turkey’s willingness to improve relations with Iran, saying his country will spare no efforts to help remove concerns over Iran’s nuclear case.
Iran says it needs nuclear energy as solely aimed at producing electricity, and rejects Western allegations that the country is after atomic weapons.
“Yet, Iran’s right for nuclear power with peaceful purposes should not be questioned either. We have a clear position on nuclear armament,” he went on saying.
Erdogan appealed for a nuclear-free Middle East saying, “We do not want nuclear arms in our region. We don’t want weapons of mass destruction in our region.”
Experts estimate that Israel has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1980s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country’s Dimona nuclear reactor.