Turkey opposes sanctions on Iran and is not obliged to abide by sanctions imposed by the US, the UK or any other country, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Tuesday.
Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Turkish authorities had conveyed the message to a delegation of US Treasury and State Department officials during a visit to Ankara last week.
“A US delegation visited Ankara. We have told them we will not join these sanctions,” he said. “We buy oil from Iran and we purchase it in proper conditions. What is the other option?”
“While we are explaining why we will not obey these sanctions, we have also expressed that we do not find these US sanctions appropriate,” the top Turkish diplomat added.
Following the US delegation’s visit to Ankara, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country’s officials are working to prevent Ankara from being negatively affected by the re-imposition of US nuclear sanctions against Iran.
The ministry further emphasized that Iran was an important neighbor for Turkey and that Ankara would continue to monitor the US sanctions within this framework.
On May 8, President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran over the objections of Europe as well as Russia and China — the other parties to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The withdrawal entailed not only the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries. Some of those sanctions will take effect after a 90-day wind-down period ending on August 6, and the rest after a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4.
Most recently, the Trump White House has announced that it seeks to supposedly bring Iran’s oil sales down to “zero.”
The measures would collectively cause difficulties for companies doing business with Iran. Nevertheless, Europe and Russia and China have decided to explore ways to maintain the JCPOA and trade with Iran.