U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Iran should back up its claim that it will not engage in the development of nuclear weapons.
Referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to Iran, Hillary Clinton said: “They were told that the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] viewed weapons of mass destruction as religiously prohibited, as against Islam.”
Clinton added, however: “We are meeting with the Iranians to discuss how to translate what is a stated belief into a plan of action,” she said. “It is not an abstract belief but a government policy. That government policy can be demonstrated in a number of ways…. The international community now wants to see actions associated with that statement of belief.”
The G5+1 representatives will meet with Iranian counterparts to discuss nuclear issues on April 13 in Istanbul.
Clinton called on Iran to open its nuclear facilities to international inspectors and to ship out some of its enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for its reactors.
According to an edict issued by Ayatollah Khamenei, the use of nuclear weapons is “haram” (forbidden). The statement was reiterated in his latest New Year speech in March.
Erdogan visited Iran for two days last week to discuss the nuclear talks and issues surrounding Syrian protests.
Turkish media have reported that since his return, the Turkish Prime Minister has distanced himself from the aggressive international sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. and the EU.
He also announced that the Iranian Supreme Leader has stated that Islamic Sharia law forbids developing atomic weapons, adding that Iran should be given the right to exploit nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
International sanctions imposed on Iran’s financial sector and oil exports by the United States and the European Union have made it difficult for Iran’s international trade partners to continue their dealings.
The United States has been working hard to get Iran’s major oil consumers, including Turkey, China and India, to stop purchasing Iranian crude.
So far these three countries have refused to follow Washington’s bidding. The U.S. has stated, however, that such refusal could make these countries targets of American punitive measures.