Erdogan insists on buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

Erdogan said that his country would not stop buying Iranian oil and natural gas, in clear defiance of US sanctions on Iranian oil.

Erdogan told reporters on the return flight from the UN General Assembly in New York that Turkey was not afraid of possible US sanctions because of trade with Iran, and that Ankara did not want to stop its cooperation with Tehran, Sky News quoted Turkish media as saying

US President Donald Trump last year announced Washington's withdrawal from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, re-imposed sanctions on Iran's oil sector, and Trump has repeatedly stressed that countries that will continue to buy Iranian oil and gas will be subject to US sanctions.

US officials say they aim to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, as a way to pressure Tehran to halt its nuclear and missile programs and give up destabilization in the region.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has previously said his country will continue to buy natural gas from Iran in line with a long-term supply agreement.

The United States has granted eight countries - China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey - exemptions from compliance with "sanctions against Iran," for six months expired on May 2 last year.

Turkey is accused of circumventing sanctions against Iran through a group of banks and companies that provide money to the Iranian Defense Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards.

In a statement late March this year, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said: "We are targeting a broad network of key companies and individuals residing in Iran and Turkey to block a scheme used by the Iranian regime for illegal transfers of more than $ 1 billion."


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