TOBB warns over gold for gas trade sanctions

TOBB warns over gold for gas trade sanctions

WASHINGTON - Anatolia News Agency
TOBB warns over gold for gas trade sanctions

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu (R) warns of consequences if further sanctions put on gold for gas trade with Iran. AA photo

Ankara will become more dependent on Russian oil and gas if sanctions are expanded to Turkey’s gold for gas trade with Iran, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), said Dec. 17 in Washington.

Turkey insists on continuing to buy natural gas from Iran and letting the supplier convert Turkish money into gold in Turkey. Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said Dec. 5 that Turkey had not received any new request from the United States to reduce its level of crude purchases from Iran.

In June, Washington exempted Turkey, along with six other countries, from its financial sanctions on Iran’s oil trade for six months in return for a 20 percent cut in Ankara’s purchases.

Alternative methods
Speaking at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, Hisarcıklıoğlu said Ankara would become more dependent on Russia in the gas and oil trade if sanctions were placed on gold for gas trade with Tehran.

“A possible situation like this will create risks for Turkey and harm the investment climate,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, proposing Turkey find an alternative payment method for Iran or seek energy source alternatives in Arbil or Hazar. He added that increasing tension between Arbil and Baghdad impairs the Ankara-Baghdad relationship as well.

Alternative ways for Syria
Asked about the recent developments in the Middle East, Hisarcıklıoğlu pronounced Middle East peace as the provision of world peace and said there shouldn’t be tension with Iran in addition to existing problems in the region. Hisarcıklıoğlu said Turkey is now using alternative ways to export goods despite the situation in Syria.

“With the Syrian border closed to commercial traffic, Turkey’s exporters are using alternative routes to bring goods to Middle Eastern markets and the İskenderun-Haifa line is one of them,” he said, adding that there were no problems with the economic relationship between Israel and Turkey.

Commenting on the economic crisis in the EU and in the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In order to cope with the threat, Turkey should leap to high-income-country status from middle-income status by becoming a high-tech country.”