Turkey’s Erdogan: US sanctions on Iran wrong, will not abide by them

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the US sanctions on Iran or wrong, and that Turkey will not abide by them. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 November 2018
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Turkey’s Erdogan: US sanctions on Iran wrong, will not abide by them

  • Washington has imposed two sets of sanctions this year after pulling out of a nuclear pact agreed between world powers
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country would “proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions”

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday hit out at new sanctions on Iran imposed by the administration of President Donald Trump, saying they were aimed at upsetting the global balance and against international law.
Washington on Monday announced the sanctions on the Islamic Republic that aim to isolate the country’s banking sector and slash its oil exports. Turkey was one of eight countries exempted from the demand to stop buying Iranian oil.
“We don’t find the (Iran) sanctions appropriate,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
“Because to us, they are aimed at upsetting the global balance,” he added. “They are against international law and diplomacy. We don’t want to live in an imperial world.”
Erdogan’s comments came after his Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that isolating Iran was “dangerous.”
“While we were asking (for) an exemption from the United States, we have also been very frank with them that cornering Iran is not wise. Isolating Iran is dangerous and punishing the Iranian people is not fair,” he told a press conference during a trip to Japan.
“Turkey is against sanctions, we don’t believe any results can be achieved through the sanctions,” he added. “I think instead of sanctions, meaningful dialogue and engagement is much more useful.”
Washington has imposed two sets of sanctions this year after pulling out of a nuclear pact agreed between world powers and Iran that President Donald Trump slammed as “defective”.
The latest round went into effect on Monday.
Washington has granted eight countries, including Turkey and Japan, waivers to allow them to continue importing Iranian oil without facing diplomatic consequences.
Mainly Sunni Turkey has a complex relationship with Shiite Iran that has seen disputes notably on what Ankara has seen as moves for domination of Iraq by the majority Shia community.
But the two countries are also working closely on a host of issues, notably ending the conflict in Syria even though both Ankara and Tehran are in theory on opposite sides of the civil war. Iranian oil and gas exports are also crucial for resource-poor Turkey.
The new sanctions have sparked furious reactions from Iran, whose President Hassan Rouhani said the country would “proudly bypass your illegal, unjust sanctions”.
On Monday, Washington vowed to be “relentless” in countering Iran, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying the US wanted Iran to make a “180-degree turn” and abandon its “current revolutionary course”.


Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

Updated 14 December 2018
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Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

  • The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians
  • Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third

AMMAN: Israel was accused on Thursday of humiliating Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by placing Ramallah on virtual lockdown amid a 24-hour outbreak of violence in which five people died.

The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians suspected of earlier attacks. Salah Barghouti, 29, was accused of shooting seven Israelis on Sunday at a bus station near the Ofra settlement. Ashraf Naalwa, 23, shot two Israelis dead in the Barkan industrial zone settlement in October.

Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third when he opened fire at the Ofra bus station.

Israeli forces chased the gunman into Ramallah, where they set up road blocks, launched raids and placed the town under virtual siege. In the hunt for the gunman, a Palestinian was shot dead in Al-Bireh neighborhood of Ramallah.

Abbas Zaki, a leading Fatah official, told Arab News Palestinian frustration was being fueled by Israel. “They barged into Ramallah in violation of existing agreements and came very close to the home of President Abbas.

“What more do people need to see to let them give up on a process when Israelis are willing to humiliate in such a way the father of Palestinian peace?”

Abbas himself condemned the anti-Israeli attacks but blamed Israeli raids as a potential cause.

“The climate created by the policy of repeated intrusions into the cities, the provocations against the sovereignty of the president and the lack of a horizon for peace are what led to this unacceptable violence that we condemn and reject,” he said.