Turkey won’t abide by Iran sanctions: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech as he attends the parliamentary group meeting of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on Tuesday in Ankara. — AFP

ANKARA — President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would not abide by the renewed US sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping industries, adding that they were aimed at “unbalancing the world”.

The comments came a day after Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran, abandoning a 2015 deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program. The US measures temporarily allow some major customers, includng Turkey, to continue buying Iranian crude.

Speaking to reporters in parliament, the Turkish president attacked the sanctions.

“We don’t find the (Iran) sanctions appropriate,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

“These are steps aimed at unbalancing the world. We don’t want to live in an imperialist world. These issues will be put on the table at the summit (this weekend) in Paris,” Erdogan said.

“We will absolutely not abide by such sanctions. We buy 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas. We cannot freeze our people in the cold.”

Speaking in Japan earlier on Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister said it would be dangerous to isolate Iran, adding that it was not easy for countries like Turkey and Japan to diversify energy supplies.

“We do not believe any result can be reached with sanctions. I think meaningful dialogue and talks are more useful than sanctions,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

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.

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”. — Agencies