Turkey to continue importing Iran’s gas despite bans
Turkey says it will continue to buy natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions that were restored against the country on Tuesday.
According to Press TV, Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted by media as saying that Ankara’s continued gas imports from Iran would be in line with a long-term contract between the two countries.
Donmez added that a Turkish delegation that was already in Washington for talks with US officials would try to resolve the matter in talks with American authorities.
“A delegation of ours is in the US right now and negotiations are being held on a series of matters including the sanctions issue,” Donmez said. “I think a good outcome will emerge from this dialogue,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Iran is a key supplier of natural gas and oil to Turkey, which is almost 100-percent dependent on fuel imports. Even though the Turkish refiner Tupras has already cut back on oil shipments from Tehran, a complete halt to energy imports from Iran is hardly possible, Reuters added.
With natural gas accounting for nearly 40 percent of Turkey’s electricity production, Donmez said that Turkey would continue this trade, as “we can’t possibly leave our citizens in [the] dark.”
The Turkish minister described the US sanctions as “unilateral.”
“Even the European Union is extremely annoyed by this. We are conducting legitimate trade here,” he said.
The first wave of US sanctions targeting Iranian exports, the country's financial system and its ability to access the global financial system, took effect at midnight on Tuesday.
US sanctions on Iran’s energy sector are to be re-imposed after a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4.
On Monday, the foreign ministers of Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement condemning the new US sanctions on Iran.
The European Union, for its part, has pledged to protect the interests of European companies, which could suffer as a result of Washington’s sanctions, Reuters concluded in a report also covered by Russia’s Sputnik news agency.