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Erdogan gets US message on Iran visit

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Tehran is not likely to upset Washington.
The Turkish delegation stand as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-L) and Iran's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri (R) speak to the media at Tehran's Saadabad palace on January 29, 2014. Erdogan's visit comes as the two countries are trying to rebuild relations strained by the situation in Syria, with Iran supporting President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey backs the rebels seeking to oust him. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI        (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

On Jan. 29, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

The US administration rushed David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, to Ankara Jan. 27 before Erdogan's departure to remind Turkey that Iran is still under sanctions and that now is no time to muddy the waters at this critical point in the negotiations. The UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany (P5+1) had reached an agreement in November 2013 with Iran over its nuclear program, and that deal was to be implemented starting Jan. 20. After his talks in Ankara with senior Foreign Ministry officials, Cohen told reporters, “Businesses interested in engaging in Iran really should hold off. The day may come when Iran is open for business, but the day is not today.”

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