Ankara tells US it won’t adhere to new sanctions on Iran

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum, June 10, 2010.

From Zaman:  Turkish officials have told an American delegation that it has no intention of following unilateral US sanctions on Iran, a move likely to deepen a rift between the two NATO allies over the Islamic republic’s contentious nuclear program that Washington believes is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

Turkish and American officials have confirmed that a US delegation comprising representatives from the State and Treasury departments visited Ankara last week to have talks at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Undersecretariat of the Treasury over US sanctions on Iran.

The talks came as Turkey said it would support Turkish companies making sales to Tehran despite unilateral US sanctions that restrict trade. “They were here to discuss and explain UN sanctions and also the new US sanctions package signed into legislation by President Obama on July 1," a US Embassy official in Ankara told Reuters late on Friday. The official said Turkey was one of many countries the delegation was planning to visit. …

The United States has so far largely looked the other way as its Muslim NATO ally has strengthened political and economic ties with Iran as part of Ankara’s long-term energy strategy.

Washington’s tolerant attitude may end if Turkey continues to take the bite out of US sanctions or boost ties with the Islamic republic beyond a symbolic partnership. Any international firms that sell gasoline to Iran could face retribution under the US sanctions, including a possible ban from the US financial system or denial of US contracts.  (photo: AP)


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