Turkey on Saturday called on neighboring Iran to rapidly cooperate with the European Union and the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog to overcome a crisis over the country's nuclear program. Iran threatened on Friday to end surprise inspections and other cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if it is referred to the U.N. Security Council over its controversial nuclear program. The country's president also vowed Iran would not be intimidated by sanctions.
Iran's tough line came as Europe and the United States were trying to build support for hauling Iran before the Security Council. "We hope Iran does not take moves that would wear away its dialogue with the international community and that it rapidly enters full and transparent cooperation with the EU ... and the IAEA," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, intended only to produce electricity. But it has insisted on its right to conduct uranium enrichment, a process that can produce reactor fuel or material for a nuclear bomb. Turkey, a NATO member and Iran's northwestern neighbor, has defended the country's right to develop a nuclear program for energy purposes but has also said it regards the presence of nuclear weapons and their proliferation as a serious security threat, reports the AP. N.U.