Turkey to follow UN sanctions on Iran, not tougher EU or US bans
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 7/27/2010 12:00:00 AM |
Turkey will not follow US or EU sanctions on Iran but will apply the ones imposed by the United Nations. We will fully implement U.N. resolutions, but when it comes to individual countries’ demands for extra sanctions, we do not have to [follow suit], says Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek
Turkey has said it will abide by U.N. sanctions against Iran, but not the more sweeping restrictions imposed on Tehran by the United States and the European Union.
“We will fully implement U.N. resolutions, but when it comes to individual countries’ demands for extra sanctions, we do not have to [follow suit],” Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said in an interview published Sunday in the daily Financial Times.
“The facilitation of trade that is not prohibited under the U.N. resolution should and will continue,” he was quoted as saying. “If a trade deal needs to be financed, we will have to find a way to pay for it.”
Şimşek’s comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that a state-owned Turkish refiner, Tüpraş, had stepped in to supply Iran after several international companies stopped selling the country refined petroleum.
Turkey’s foreign economic relations board has meanwhile said the country’s ports, notably Mersin and Trabzon, would try to handle some of the trade with Iran that has been going through Dubai, the daily reported. The Gulf emirate is steadily restricting its economic ties with Tehran.
The U.S. Congress passed legislation last month shutting any banks with ties to Iran – or any companies selling petroleum products to the country – out of the American market. These measures were followed Monday by unilateral EU sanctions, new measures that restrict trade related to Iran’s nuclear program.
The sanctions limit financial assistance and funding and allow EU members to inspect all cargo going to or from Iran.
Eager to promote trade with its neighbors, Turkey has been following a more assertive and independent foreign policy when it comes to Iran, to the frustration of Washington. Ankara was one of only two U.N. Security Council members, along with Brazil, to oppose Resolution 1929, which tightened sanctions on the Islamic republic.
Sources close to the Turkish government suggest that Ankara will watch the behavior of Russia and China to gauge the extent to which it can afford to ignore unilateral U.S. sanctions, the Financial Times wrote.
Chinese companies have also been supplying Iran with petroleum.