Turkey pledges enhanced ties with Iran after U.S. imposes sanctions
Turkey’s government pledged to enhance cooperation with Iran to help resolve problems in the region less than two weeks after the United States imposed tougher economic sanctions.
The Turkish and Iranian governments enjoy close dialogue and will develop their ties in industry, technology and science in particular, Mustafa Varank, Turkey’s minister for industry and technology, said after meeting his Iranian counterpart, Vice President Sorena Sattari, in Ankara on Tuesday.
Sattari said he would join some 80 Iranian companies when they meet with their Turkish counterparts at a conference in Istanbul on Wednesday, according to a report by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency..
Turkey and Iran have grown closer under the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan despite a series of U.S.-led economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Ties between the two countries came under the microscope in 2017 after a deputy chief executive of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank was put on trial at a New York court and found guilty of helping to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.
The meetings this week come after President Donald Trump announced further economic sanctions against Tehran on Jan.10 for its missile attack on Ain-al-Assad air base in Iraq. Last week, the European Union put Iran on notice over its non-compliance with a 2015 nuclear pact, in a first step to possibly reimposing international sanctions.
Turkey is a NATO member with historical ties to the West, but Erdoğan has sought a more independent and enhanced regional role for the country through better political and trade ties with its neighbours.