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8 Aug, 2018 10:33

Turkey vows business as usual with Iran despite US sanctions

Turkey vows business as usual with Iran despite US sanctions

Ankara says it remains committed to energy contracts with Tehran despite the risk that renewed US sanctions against Iran could make Turkish firms a target.

Turkey is heavily reliant on energy imports, and neighboring Iran is one of its biggest suppliers. US President Donald Trump threatened this week that anyone doing business with Iran won’t be able to trade with America.

“A delegation of ours is in the United States right now and negotiations are being held on a series of matters including the sanctions issue,” Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told Turkish channel A Haber, adding that Ankara will continue buying Iranian natural gas.

Donmez noted that Turkey’s natural gas contract expires in 2026. “We will be continuing this trade as we can’t possibly leave our citizens in the dark,” he said. Turkey gets 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas. Under the agreement, Ankara is set to buy 9.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Tehran.

The Turkish minister called the sanctions “unilateral.”“Even the European Union is extremely annoyed by this. We are conducting legitimate trade here,” he said. “And this is important for us in terms of supply security as well.”

The US has re-imposed sanctions against Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from the international agreement reached in 2015, which curtailed the country's nuclear program.

The move has drawn condemnation from the other signatories of the agreement: Russia, China, Iran and the European Union. Washington will renew its sanctions on Iran’s energy sector after a 180-day “wind-down period” expires on November 4.

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