Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdoğan has travelled to Iran with a high-ranking delegation to hold talks about nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Syrian crisis.

Iranian media report that the Turkish delegation arrived in Tehran this morning, Wednesday, for a two-day visit.

The delegation includes Turkish ministers of energy, the economy and urban development as well as military and nuclear energy officials and three members of Parliament.

Erdoğan is to meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani, the head of the Iranian Parliament.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi welcomed the delegation today and told reporters that Iran will be meeting the G5+1 representatives on April 13, adding that the venue for these talks will be announced in the next few days.

He said the “preferred” venue is Istanbul, and Turkish officials are holding talks with Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, about the location of the meeting.

The G5+1 representatives met with Iranian nuclear negotiators in February, 2010, but the talks reached an impasse, and since then the EU and the United States have taken the path of intensifying international sanctions on Iran in response to Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran insists that, despite international concerns, its nuclear program is completely peaceful.

Turkey has announced that it is prepared to host the next nuclear talks, and Turkish state television has described the Turkish delegation’s trip to Iran as “sensitive and crucial” with regard to the Syrian situation.

Iran and Turkey have had conflicting policies toward Syria throughout the past year of Syrian protests. While Iran has been supportive of the Assad government, Turkey has supported the opposition forces.