Iranian foreign minister visits in Turkey

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for talks amid concerns over Iran's insistence to pursue its own nuclear program. He was to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul and trade officials on Wednesday. On Thursday, Mottaki is scheduled to meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. The Turkish foreign minister said two weeks ago that Iran has right to a nuclear program for peaceful energy production, however, stressed that the Iranian leadership should take steps to assure the world that it does not intend to build weapons.

Mottaki reaffirmed during a visit to Azerbaijan on Monday that Tehran has no plans to build nuclear weapons and supports global nuclear disarmament. However, he insisted that Iran is entitled under international law to conduct a peaceful nuclear program, adding that "no nation can deprive us of that."

The United States, a close ally of Turkey, says that Iranian nuclear activities are aimed at producing atomic weapons and wants Iran hauled before the U.N. Security Council for violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, reports the AP. I.L.

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