Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung
February 11, 2012
Turkey’s top diplomat said Friday that Iran is ready to negotiate an end to the standoff with Western powers over its nuclear program, suggesting that the controversy could be resolved quickly if the deep distrust between the two sides could be overcome.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also criticized economic sanctions against Iran as ineffective and warned that any military strike against the country’s nuclear facilities would inflame the region while doing little to curb Iran’s ambitions. Israeli and U.S. officials have not ruled out military options to impede Iran’s progress.
“I am telling you, a military strike is a disaster,” Davutoglu told a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. “It should not be an option.”
Davutoglu, in Washington to consult with the Obama administration on the Syrian and Iranian crises, said he perceived a new willingness among Iran’s leaders to cut a deal on limits to its nuclear program. Talks between Iran and the “P5-plus-1” powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — have been frozen for more than a year.