Jul 24 2018

Turkey will not implement Iran sanctions, says foreign minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday said that Turkey would not take part in U.S.-led sanctions against neighbouring Iran, Dünya newspaper reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump in May declared that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and impose the highest level of economic sanctions on Iran. Trump also stipulated that, “any nation that helps Iran and its quest for nuclear weapons could also be sanctioned”.

The Turkish foreign minister noted that a delegation from the United States arrived in Turkey earlier this year and the ministry was clear that they would not be part of the sanctions against Iran.

‘’We [continue to] stress that we don’t find these sanctions to be right. We have no obligation to follow the sanctions of any country against Iran,’’ Çavuşoğlu said.

Çavuşoğlu spoke on a series of foreign policy issues while vacationing in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya. The foreign minister explained that Turkey is exercising caution where the Greek Cypriot drilling in the Mediterranean Sea for oil and gas exploration is concerned. ‘’If they begin drilling in the fall, then we will, too,’’ he said.

Turkey maintains the exploration for potentially large gas reserves off the island of Cyprus should take into account what it says are the rights of Turkish Cypriots in a breakaway state in the northern third of the island that Turkish troops invaded in 1974.