No Link between Zarif's Visit, Turkey’s Internal Issues: Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An informed official at Iran’s ministry of foreign affairs said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to Turkey has nothing to do with the recent developments in the neighboring country, namely a scandalous corruption case in Turkey.
Zarif left Tehran on Saturday to pay a one-day visit to Turkey at the invitation of Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Meanwhile, an informed official at Iran’s foreign ministry dismissed speculation that there might be a direct link between Zarif’s trip and Turkey’s internal affairs, including a tumultuous probe into a recent graft case that has already seen a number of well-known Turkish nationals being sentenced to pretrial detention.
“Our country’s Foreign Minister Zarif’s visit to Turkey takes place at the official invitation of his Turkish counterpart and has nothing to do with that country’s internal upheavals,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“There is no negotiation and dialogue in relation to Turkey’s internal issues on the agenda of Zarif’s talks during his meetings with high-ranking Turkish officials,” the official added.
Earlier in the day, the Iranian foreign ministry announced in a statement that Zarif and his Turkish opposite number will hold a meeting to exchange views on a range of issues from bilateral relations to the latest developments in the region, including the upheavals in Syria and the political procedures to settle the 3-year-old crisis in the Arab country.
Meanwhile, a Turkish foreign ministry official told Today's Zaman on Thursday that Zarif and Davutoglu would not discuss the graft probe in their meeting.
Over the past weeks, Turkey has been experiencing a widening graft probe in which police have detained at least 49 people, including the sons of three cabinet ministers, in Istanbul and Ankara.
The sons of the Turkish interior and economy ministers were charged and placed in custody in December 2013, in connection with the corruption probe.
The suspects also include well-known businessmen and bureaucrats including the chief executive of Turkish state bank Halkbank Suleyman Aslan and construction tycoon Ali Agaoglu, as well as an Iranian businessman, Reza Zarrab.