January 4, 2013 (TSR) – Turkish President Abdullah Gul has stressed the importance of eradicating nuclear weapons in the region, saying the atomic disarmament of Israel would be the key to resolving outstanding issues pertaining to Iran’s nuclear energy program.
“That is the way I see it. Because that route will help them solve the fundamental problems in the Middle East that affect the whole world,” Gul said in an interview with Foreign Affairs magazine.
The Turkish president expressed his country’s opposition to the existence of nuclear weapons in the region as not possessed by Turkey herself, saying, “We are not underestimating this matter in any way. But we are more realistic.”
In response to a question about Ankara’s stance on Iran’s nuclear energy program, he urged “a more comprehensive solution and approach” to the outstanding issues.
Israel, the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, is widely known to have between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads.
The Israeli regime rejects all the regulatory international nuclear agreements — the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in particular — and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the NPT and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.