Turkey did not violate Iran sanctions, U.S. did, Erdoğan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey had not violated Iranian sanctions despite the U.S. court testimony of Iranian-Turkish gold dealer Reza Zarrab, Milliyet newspaper said on Saturday.

“There’s nothing that will come out against us, we’re confident,” he told a gathering of deputies from his ruling Justice and Development Party.

“We will not have any problems at all over this issue.”

Six Turkish banks have so far been named by Zarrab in the first week of the trial in New York, alongside a number of senior Turkish officials over their involvement in various schemes to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran. One other Turkish bank has also been listed in court documents, but not yet mentioned in the trial.

Zarrab even said Erdoğan himself had ordered the expansion of the sanctions-busting scheme to include two further state banks.

But Erdoğan said it had actually been Western countries that had broken the sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The U.S. sold Iran its own planes,” he said. “Trade relations with France and Germany were also at a high level.”

The short-term sale of Boeing spare parts by the United States to Tehran to allow the repair of Iran’s aging civilian fleet was agreed during nuclear talks after several planes crashes.