U.S. Ambassador: Iran Should Listen to Turkey, Negotiate on Nukes

Posted June 15th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. ambassador to Turkey says he hopes Iran is listening to Turkey's encouragement for Iran to enter talks on creating a nuclear program dedicated only to peaceful purposes.

Ambassador Frank Ricciardone , spoke to VOA earlier this week on the sidelines of a U.S.-Turkish relations conference in Washington. He called Turkey Iran's “most stable, prosperous, and advanced neighbor” and said he hopes Iran takes the message seriously. He also said if Iran wants to leave open the possibility that it will use its nuclear program for weapons, the world will stand against that. He said Turkey reinforces that message.

Questioned about press freedom in Turkey, Ricciardone said many journalists feel inhibited because a number of journalists have been jailed, though Ankara insists they are not in detention for their journalistic activities. He said the situation creates a “chilling effect” that could influence what journalists write or say on television.

But the ambassador also praised Turkey, for embracing change in a region where, he said, states usually resist change. He said there is a “new Turkey” that sees the world as full of opportunities rather than enemies.