Obama at South Korea DMZ 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Time is running short to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff through diplomatic
means, US President Barack Obama said on Sunday.
Obama reiterated his
position on Iran after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
the eve of a nuclear security summit in Seoul.
“I believe there is a
window of time to solve this diplomatically but that window is closing,” Obama
Erdogan spoke to Obama of his visit to Iran planned for
later this month and said he would talk to Iranian leaders about the violence in
Syria, an ally of Tehran, a senior US official said.
Iran and North Korea
are not on the guest list or the agenda for the Seoul summit, but their nuclear
standoffs with the West are dominating talks on the sidelines of the conference
that is ostensibly focused on preventing nuclear terrorism.
spearheaded international efforts to isolate Tehran, which include several
rounds of sanctions, but it has remained defiant on its nuclear program, despite
showing an openness to possibly resuming long-suspended talks with world
Israel has made clear what it thinks the outcome of talks should
be, with Intelligence Affairs Minister Dan Meridor saying on Saturday the goal
of the talks should be that Iran stop enriching uranium; remove all uranium
enriched over 3.5 percent; and agree to tight supervision.
along with Shaul Chorev, head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission – will
represent the country at the summit, and will certainly pass on those
expectations to his interlocutors.
Meridor represented Israel at the
first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010, a summit that Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not attend because of concerns that the Arab
countries intended to turn Israel and its reported nuclear capabilities into the
focus of the summit.
This time, because Egypt, Libya and Syria are
otherwise preoccupied, those same concerns do not exist. Nevertheless, Meridor was dispatched – according to David
Danieli, deputy director of the IAEC – because he attended the last meeting,
understands the material, and his participation will ensure
Israel, Danieli said, was involved in the preparatory
meetings for the Seoul summit, and one of its goals at the meeting is to promote
cooperation with other countries and organizations on issues relating to keeping
nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists.