As Obama mulls sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, he meets Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House today. Ankara's rising economic ties with Tehran could undercut sanctions.
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As international concern grows over Iran's nuclear ambitions, President Obama will on Monday seek to engage Turkey – a rising power in Mideast diplomacy and member of the United Nations Security Council – in the West's effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.
Mr. Obama's meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the White House on Monday comes amid concerns that increased economic ties between Ankara and Tehran could undermine efforts to punish the Islamic regime should it ignore Obama's year-end deadline for reaching a negotiated solution to its disputed nuclear program.
Turkey has expanded trade with Iran, and now gets 20 percent of its natural gas from its neighbor. Erdogan also visited the Iranian capital in October, and defended the country's program as indeed "peaceful," reports Bloomberg.