NewsSpecial WireTurkish FM to visit Iran amid rising tensions

Turkish FM to visit Iran amid rising tensions

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Mar. 03 – Turkey has warned Iran that it must not develop nuclear weapons and is planning to send its Foreign Minister to Tehran bring its stance clearly to the Iranian leadership. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 03 – Turkey has warned Iran that it must not develop nuclear weapons and is planning to send its Foreign Minister to Tehran bring its stance clearly to the Iranian leadership.

Reports in Iran’s state-run news agencies said that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will visit Tehran to call on hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to achieve a “peaceful solution” to Iran’s nuclear conundrum.

Turkey gets more than 20 percent of its energy from Iranian oil and gas. Suspension of gas and oil export to Turkey by Iran would bring about instability for Ankara.

Relations between Tehran and Ankara have been chilly in recent months. Some Turkish newspapers have reported that a series of high-profile U.S. visitors to Ankara in recent months have been preparing the ground for U.S. strikes from Turkey against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Turkish government has denied these reports as “speculation”.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the heads of both the FBI and the CIA have visited Ankara in recent weeks.

The U.S. military uses Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey for planes supplying U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Washington cannot transport military personnel or ammunition without explicit permission from Turkish authorities.

Muslim but secular Turkey is a member of NATO and shares a border with both Iraq and Iran. It has cordial relations with both, though along with many other states Ankara recently criticised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s public call for the destruction of Israel.

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