Not all countries across the Middle East have voiced support for the American approach toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States of using its nuclear arsenal to bully the international community. The Turkish leader, who announced Ankara’s support of the preservation of the nuclear deal with Iran, also took the opportunity to urge for the Middle East to be cleansed of all nuclear weapons, in an apparent reference to Israel, which is believed to be the only nation in the region to possess a nuclear arsenal. “Those who have more than 15,000 nuclear warheads are currently threatening the world. When they are freely using them why are countries with nuclear warheads posing a threat to them?” / “If we are to be fair, to show a just approach, then the countries with nuclear weapons, which portray nuclear power stations as threats, have no credibility in the international community. As Turkey, we do not accept re-igniting issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, that have been put to bed. We find the other signatories stating their loyalty to the agreement in the face of the U.S. administration’s decision very positive,” Erdogan said.
The comments by the Turkish leader come just one and a half month after his country announced the construction of its first nuclear power plant, which is being built in the southern Mersin Province. Turkey’s nuclear dimensions are declared solely for civilian purposes, for the supply of electrical power, as Turkey imports most of its energy in the form of fuels and gas, and nuclear energy could provide it with energy independence. That said, a 2014 report that was based on estimates by the German intelligence service, claimed that Turkey was adopting the Iranian model of establishing a civilian nuclear program on the surface, with a military program underneath it. That said, even if Turkey would aspire to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities, it does not have the means to deliver the dangerous weapons. To assure Turkey does not attain this ability, a bill by three U.S. senators, which was introduced last month, aims to thwart a sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets from the United States to Turkey. The three senators who introduced the bill, including James Lankford, Thom Tillis and Jeanne Shaheen issued a statement expressing concern that Turkish President Erdogan had embarked on a “path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law.” They further stated that “Turkey’s strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, U.S. interests. These factors make the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan’s regime increasingly risky.” The Turkish embassy in Washington did not respond to TV7’s request for comment.