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Turkey's work on Iran nuclear deal shows emerging diplomatic power

While the US has continued to press for UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Turkey's high-profile role in brokering a nuclear deal with Tehran is just the latest sign of an emerging diplomatic power.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, a day after Iran agreed to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear deal. Davutoglu has praised Iran for agreeing to ship some of its low-enriched uranium abroad and urged the West to try to end its diplomatic standoff over the country's nuclear program.

Ibrahim Usta/AP

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu reached far when praising the nuclear deal that Turkey helped broker with Iran on Monday.

He said the agreement, which also involved Brazil, would avert new United Nations sanctions against Iran and was part of the “global and regional vision of Turkey.”

Within hours, though, the deal was in doubt. The US said it had the support of all the permanent members of the United Nation's Security Council for a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. It was a diplomatic slap at Turkey.

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Davutoglu said talk of sanctions was premature because the deal with Iran had created an “important psychological threshold” of trust. “Negotiations with Iran are tough. In fact, chess is a game that was invented in Iran,” he stated. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said there was “no chance” new sanctions would pass.


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