Turkey urges West to avoid sanctions against Iran

May 18, 2010 14:35

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's foreign minister urged the United States and its allies to stop pushing for more UN sanctions against Iran regarding its nuclear program Tuesday, saying that diplomacy was needed to reduce tensions.

Ahmet Davutoglu praised Iran for agreeing to ship some of its low-enriched uranium abroad and urged the West to try to end its diplomatic standoff with Iran. In Monday's deal forged by Turkey and Brazil, Iran agreed to ship some of its enriched uranium to Turkey.

But the US and some of its allies suspect Iran's move was designed to stave off more UN sanctions. Iran also insisted it would press ahead with higher enrichment — bringing it closer to being able to make atomic warheads — despite criticism by the US and some of its allies.

"Discussions on sanctions will spoil the atmosphere and may create the escalation of the statements, may provoke the Iranian public opinion," Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul.

"Each side now should have a positive approach, constructive style and a real intention and objective of dialogue rather than focusing on mutual suspicion, skepticism, mutual threats, sanctions or other options," he said.

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