Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says his country is resolved to expand ties with Iran despite US threats to punish governments that violate recently-restored economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“Time and again we have made it clear that we will not implement US sanctions against Iran,” Çavuşoğlu said as he met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s special envoy, Mahmoud Vaezi, in Ankara on Thursday.
Before their meeting, Vaezi met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and delivered a message from Rouhani.
Trump decided in May to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a landmark nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany.
On Monday, the American president ordered all nuclear-related sanctions that were removed under the deal to be reinstated immediately.
The first phase of the unilateral sanctions came into effect on Tuesday, targeting Iran’s purchase of US dollars, trade in gold and other precious metals as well as its automotive sector.
A second batch of bans will be re-imposed in November with the aim of curtailing Iran’s oil exports and shipping sectors.
The US president has also threatened punitive measures against the remaining signatories in case they keep their business links with Iran.
Çavuşoğlu hailed Iran’s decision to stay in the deal after Trump’s pullout.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said Wednesday that Ankara would continue to buy gas from Iran under a long-term supply deal between the two neighbors.
The minister said he was going to raise the issue of “unilateral” sanctions and their effect on Turkey’s energy imports with American officials in upcoming talks in Washington.
“We adopted the United Nations sanctions on Iran in the past. Even the European Union is extremely annoyed by today’s situation. We are conducting legitimate trade here, which is of great importance in terms of supply security,” he said.
Turkey imports almost all of its energy needs and Iran is one of the biggest suppliers natural gas and oil purchases to the country.