MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
MICHELE KELEMEN: An adviser to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country had good reason to vote against the U.N. sanctions. Turkey doesn't believe sanctions will work and the foreign policy adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, says Turkey wants to keep open a diplomatic channel to Tehran.
IBRAHIM KALIN: We don't disagree with our American and European friends on the ultimate goal of this process, and that is to prevent Iran from having a nuclear bomb. The goal is the same. We don't disagree in substance. We disagree in style.
KELEMEN: Senator John McCain of Arizona says Turkey's embrace of Iran won't help regional peace, and he warns Erdogan not to lose sight of Turkey's legacy as a secular nation.
JOHN MCCAIN: The rhetoric that he is using concerning Israel, an obvious thumb in the eye that Turkey and Brazil orchestrated with this feckless agreement on enriched material, is an indication that Turkey continues at a crossroad.
KELEMEN: Ibrahim Kalin says Turkey wants to see Iran go ahead and ship low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for fuel for a Tehran research reactor. He says the Iranians are still interested in the deal.
KALIN: In this political, psychological environment, they can easily say we are out of this deal, but we are encouraging the Iranians to stay on the negotiation table. And this is the message we are getting from the U.S. administration also. That's why Secretary Clinton said, you know, a few hours after the sanctions that Turkey and Brazil shall continue diplomatic engagement with Iran.
KELEMEN: State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says the Tehran research reactor deal, or TRR, now needs to be adjusted.
PHILIP J: Iran, over the time that it refused to engage the international community, in essence doubled its enriched uranium supply. That has degraded the value of the TRR.
KELEMEN: Crowley says if the fuel swap deal is improved, that could be a step toward the broader discussions that the U.S. and its partners are seeking to get Iran to clear up questions about its nuclear program. And that's where Crowley sees a role for Turkey.
CROWLEY: If Turkey can convince Iran to continue to engage on these set of issues and incorporating the TRR as a means to get to these broader set of issues, then there is a constructive role that they can play. So I would say that, yes, we are encouraging Turkey to continue to tell Iran that there's an opportunity for diplomacy and dialogue, and we'll see how Iran responds.
KELEMEN: Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.
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