Erdogan:Focus on Israeli nukes not Iran N energy program

The Turkish president has condemned Western countries' focus on Iran's nuclear program, stressing that the world should deal with Israel's nuclear weapons instead.

Turkey's "Radikal" newspaper on Sunday reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan's strong comments against Israel's nuclear program was similar to his "one minute" stance in Davos in January when he walked out of a televised debate with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres.

Erdogan told reporters in New York that Iran's nuclear program is not aimed at "military ends".

The Turkish president noted that Israel has "nuclear weapons" and has used "phosphorous bombs" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"Why these are not on the agenda? It is always Iran…" Erdogan told reporters in New York.

"If only Iran is put on the world agenda, then we may neglect other issues such as the Gaza [conflict] that should be addressed," he said.

Erdogan, upon his arrival to Istanbul from New York, said that during his meetings in the UN General Assembly and the G20 leaders' summit in Pittsburg, no military option against Iran has been on agenda.

Iran's northwestern neighbor has also urged caution over imposing any new sanctions on Tehran, saying they will not be useful.

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to visit Tehran next month to discuss Iran's nuclear program with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Erdogan ruled out any attempts to impose sanctions on Tehran's gas industry, saying sanctions would be especially problematic for its neighbor Turkey.

The Turkish president has plans to visit Iran next month to help resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

"I will make a trip to Iran towards the end of October... We will discuss regional problems, including this (nuclear) one," Turkey's Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying.

Israel, which is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and has imposed seveal wars on the region, accuses Iran of trying to develop a military nuclear program and has repeatedly voiced its determination to halt the Islamic Republic's nuclear program through military options.

Unlike Israel, Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has been pushing for a the removal of all weapons of mass destruction across the globe.

Tehran says its nuclear program is being pursued within the framework of the IAEA and international regulations.

The UN nuclear watchdog in its previous reports had confirmed that Iran only enriches uranium-235 to a level of "less than 5 percent."

Uranium, which fuels a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent. [adm/aljazeera]

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