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

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”.


Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

Updated 29 min 24 sec ago

Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

  • British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria
  • Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the US

GIBRALTAR: An Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West has raised an Iranian flag and has had a new name painted on its side, Reuters images of the stationary vessel filmed off Gibraltar showed on Sunday.
British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
Video footage and photographs showed the tanker flying the red, green and white flag of Iran and bearing the new name of ‘Adrian Darya-1’ painted in white on its hull. Its previous name, ‘Grace 1’, had been painted over. The vessel’s anchor was still down.
The Grace 1 had originally flown the Panamian flag but Panama’s Maritime Authority said in July that the vessel had been de-listed after an alert that indicated the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing.
Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the United States, which made a last-ditch legal appeal to hold it.
The initial impounding of the Grace 1 kicked off a sequence of events that saw Tehran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf two weeks later, heightening tension on a vital international oil shipping route.
That tanker, the Stena Impero, is still detained.
The two vessels have since become pawns in a bigger game, feeding into wider hostilities since the United States last year pulled out of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, and reimposed economic sanctions.