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Turkey could be good mediator with Iran: Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Russia minister says Moscow against new Iran sanctions
Russia is against fresh sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme as demanded by some Western powers, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov said on Friday. "Russia is against the sanctions pushed forward by some of the six" powers involved in negotiations over Tehran's nuclear programme, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. "The Western countries are for the sanctions. China like Russia did not back it," he added, a day after a meeting in Paris over the issue. The political directors from China, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States along with France and a representative for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana Thursday reaffirmed their twin-track approach of dialogue and sanctions. A French foreign ministry statement stressed that the UN Security Council "reaffirmed the importance of the dual-track approach," namely talking with Tehran while also considering imposing more sanctions on the regime if it fails to halt sensitive nuclear work. Tehran maintains that it is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes to generate power, while Western powers, especially Washington, suspect Iran of trying to develop an atomic bomb.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 14, 2008
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Ankara could play a positive part if it were to act as a mediator in the stalled negotiations with Iran over its suspect nuclear program.

"If Turkey plays such a role, it could have a positive impact on the process," Erdogan told a press conference in Washington after arriving to take part in the summit of G20 leaders on the economic crisis.

He said Turkey would be able to exert some influence on the dragging dossier because it was Iran's neighbor.

But Erdogan did not say whether he had had any response from the US administration on his proposal to act as a mediator in the talks.

A message of congratulations by Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the US president-elect Barack Obama last week, an unprecedented move by Tehran, was "a step that has to be made use of," Erdogan told the New York Times on Wednesday.

"We are ready to be the mediator," he said. "I do believe we could be very useful."

Ankara said in July that it had begun to play an informal role in the talks between Iran and the group of six leading powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States.

Erdogan reaffirmed Friday that Turkey was not prepared to accept an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.

He also again congratulated Obama on his November 4 election victory, saying: "We are ready to work with the new administration."

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Six powers favour dual track on Iran nuclear issue: France
Paris (AFP) Nov 14, 2008
Representatives from the six powers involved in negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear programme have reaffirmed their dual-track approach of dialogue and sanctions with Tehran, the French foreign ministry said Thursday.

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