Report: Turkey to Defy U.S. and Continue Bilateral Trade with Iran

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential complex in Ankara on April 16, 2016. / AFP / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey intends to defy U.S. President Donald Trump and continue its strong bilateral trade links with Iran, the Turkish ambassador to Tehran announced Sunday.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Turkish ambassador Riza Hakan Tekin said that his country won’t comply with “illegal U.S. sanctions on Iran”, claiming the sanctions should conform to international law and be based on international consensus.

“We will do our best to prevent Tehran-Ankara relations from being affected by the US sanctions against Iran and our country doesn’t have to act in compliance with US’ unilateral decisions on Iran”.

He added, “Turkey imports half of its needed crude oil from Iran and it is impossible to meet the U.S. demand on stopping purchasing Iran’s oil”.

The official went on to say, “Turkey complies with sanctions that are in line with the international laws. Our country has always adhered to this criterion, but unilateral sanctions that are against the stance of the international community are not legitimate and binding”.

President Trump announced the U.S.’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the reinstitution of economic sanctions on Iran on May 8.

The original deal was brokered by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

“The JCPOA, a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos,” Mr. Trump wrote on the day the sanctiosn returned.

The reimposed sanctions will hit Iran’s gold and precious metals trade and its automotive industry. The measures took effect on August 7, 2018. Other sanctions on the country’s oil industry are expected to resume on November 5, 2018.

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