Iran-Turkey ties must not be damaged: Iranian spokesman

Iran-Turkey ties must not be damaged: Iranian spokesman
# 06 April 2012 20:06 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Friday that Iran-turkey ties must not be damaged, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tehran and Ankara must make joint efforts to prevent their strategic relations from being damaged because of the remarks made by unofficial individuals.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran’s Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said Thursday that the Iranian Majlis (parliament) does not favor Turkey as the venue of the upcoming nuclear talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (G5+1) due to Turkey’s anti-Syria positions.

Boroujerdi said that Iran has proposed Baghdad as the venue of talks and the G5+1 should announce its decision in this regard.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last Saturday in Saudi Arabia that six world powers and Iran had agreed on meeting in Turkey’s Istanbul on April 13, but Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali- Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that China and Iraq are also considered by Tehran as the venues for the talks.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that, by rejecting Istanbul as the venue for the next round of nuclear talks, Iran wants to waste the time to resolve its nuclear issue and weakens its international reputation.

On Friday, Mehmanparast said that it is quite natural for the two countries to have different views on some regional issues.

The best solution to the existing differences between the regional countries over regional issues is via "consultation and exchanging viewpoints" which help countries become closer in their positions, said the Iranian spokesman.

"The Islamic republic of Iran and Turkey are two powerful and effective countries in the region with a lot of historical, cultural and ideological commonalties which have strategic relations and close positions on most political and international issues," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

Relations between Turkey and Iran are likely to further strain in the future due to a number of issues.

Besides differences on the Syrian issue, Turkey has been trying to lower the price of gas purchased from Iran for years, but has to refer the issue to international courts due to the disagreement with Tehran.

Ankara was facing pressures from the United States to lower its oil imports from Iran, as part of sanctions against Tehran due to its controversial nuclear program.