Erdogan: No Force Should Threaten Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Program

Turkish PM visits Islamic Republic and offers to host Iran nuclear talks with major powers; Iran FM says talks to take place on April 13.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for Iran’s nuclear program during a visit to the Islamic Republic on Wednesday, and said that no one has the right to use force against a country that is pursuing peaceful nuclear activities, Iranian and Turkish media reported.

“No one has the right to impose anything on anyone with regards to nuclear energy, provided that it is for peaceful purposes,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman. “Everyone with commonsense opposes nuclear weapons,” he added.

Erdogan in Iran - AP - March 28, 2012

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran expects to reopen talks with world powers that could defuse mounting tensions over its disputed nuclear program on April 13.

Turkey has offered to host the talks and the location will be decided in the next few days, Salehi said.

The major nations are keen to get Iran to enter talks on curbing its uranium enrichment program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability but Tehran says is peaceful.

Erdogan, who held talks on Iran with U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday in South Korea, was quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA as saying Turkey had proposed hosting talks in Istanbul.

"I had consultations in South Korea with Iran's counterpart in the talks," Erdogan said, according to IRNA. "And we are awaiting results of these consultations and their views. Our intention is to help the process of these talks."