Turkey has rejected US pleas to curtail crude imports from Iran, telling US officials that it is under no obligation to implement Washington’s sanctions regime against Tehran, according to Reuters.
“We do not have to adhere to the sanctions imposed on a country by another country. We don’t find the sanctions right either,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Azerbaijan.
“We held meetings with the United States in Ankara and told them openly: Turkey gets oil and gas from Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Iraq. If I don’t buy from Iran now, where am I supposed to meet that need from?” Cavusoglu added.
US President Donald Trump recently pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – a pact between Iran, the US, and others on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program – and reinstated sanctions on Tehran that state countries must reduce all Iranian imports to zero by November of this year.
In the first four months of this year, Turkey imported more than 3 million tons of Iranian crude, close to 55% of its total crude supplies. Turkey depends on imports for most of its national energy demand.
“The United States needs to understand that it is not possible to get a result from Turkey through sanctions. They will see results if they approach Turkey with dialogue and respect,” Cavusoglu continued.