Turkey: Iran can only be reached through talks, sanctions contain loopholes

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At a news conference after his White House meeting with US President Barack Obama on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the role of diplomacy in persuading Iran to give up any nuclear ambitions it might have and made clear that Turkey does not see the need yet for new sanctions. "We believe that the role of Iran can only be changed through diplomacy," said Erdogan, also criticizing current sanctions against Iran as being ineffective and allowing loopholes for Western goods to reach the Iranian market. In a joint appearance with the Turkish prime minister, Obama stated that he had indicated to Erdogan "how important it is to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capacity in a way that allows Iran to pursue peaceful nuclear energy but provides assurances that it will abide by international rules and norms … I believe that Turkey can be an important player in trying to move Iran in that direction."