Turkey: US going too far in pushing states to buy oil from its allies
Turkey has censured the US for “going too far” in pressing other countries to buy oil from its own Persian Gulf Arab allies after ending waivers for the purchase of Iranian crude, saying such moves pose a risk to regional stability.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that it is ethically “wrong” for the US to suggest Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as alternative oil sellers because Washington has close ties with the pair.
The comments came hours after the White House threatened the buyers of Iranian oil with sanctions if they fail to stop their purchases by May 1, ending six months of waivers which allowed Tehran’s eight largest customers to continue importing limited volumes.
It further said that the decision is meant to “bring Iran’s oil exports to zero” and deny the government “its principal source of revenue.”
Speaking at a press conference, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had agreed to “ensure an appropriate supply (of oil) for the markets” in order to make up for the loss of Iranian oil in the global market.
In response, Cavusoglu said, “Pushing (us) to buy oil from countries other than Iran is going too far.”
“This violates the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and poses a risk to stability in the region,” he added.
The top Turkish diplomat had, earlier in the day, complained that the US move would “harm Iranian people” instead of serving “regional peace and stability.”
“Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors,” he tweeted.