Turkey dismisses US sanctions on Iran
Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafar Caglayan
Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafar Caglayan says Ankara will not allow US-engineered sanctions imposed against Iran hamper business with the oil-rich country.
Caglayan said Monday that Turkey, a non-permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) member, would only heed sanctions imposed by the UNSC.
"Turkey will act in line with UN decisions. But decisions made by the United States on its own do not bind us," he added.
The minister hinted that US sanctions seemed to be aimed at imposing a complete blockade on Iran.
"There are only weapons and missile heads on the list of embargoes approved by the UN about the sanctions on Iran. But despite the list, they are trying to put embargo on all kinds of trade including baby food," Caglayan told reported in the Syrian port city of Latakia.
The minister sharply criticized US officials for mounting 'illegal' and underhanded pressure on Turkish banks and stressed that he planed to discuss the issue in an upcoming trip to Washington.
"A delegation from the USA came to Turkey and held talks with Turkish bankers. But they did not meet with me although I am the minister in charge of coordination of banks. Turkish banks have been put under pressure, which is completely against the principle of rule of law," Turkish daily Zaman quoted Caglayan as saying.
Amid a standoff born out of Western allegations that Tehran is following a military nuclear program, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors.
Shortly afterwards, Washington and its allies imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran's financial and energy sectors.
The move came less than a month after Iran, Turkey, and Brazil issued a fuel swap declaration in a trust-building gesture aimed at speeding up the resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations.
Iranian official refute the Western charges, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Tehran has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy.