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Turkish foreign minister slams ‘unjust’ US sanctions against Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian shakes hand with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Tehran, on November 15, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says sanctions imposed on Iran are ‘unjust’, calling for an end to the unilateral measures adopted by the United States after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement.

Cavusoglu made the remarks during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Monday.

He urged those who quit the 2015 nuclear agreement to return to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and remove the unilateral sanctions they imposed on Iran, in an apparent reference to the United States.

Turkey’s top diplomat also expressed hope that the sanctions removal negotiations – scheduled to resume in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on November 29 after a five-month hiatus – would be successful.

The JCPOA was inked by Iran and six world powers in 2015. Under the accord, Tehran agreed to put limits on certain aspects of its nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of international sanctions imposed against the country.

In 2018, however, the US exited the nuclear pact and began to unilaterally implement what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic, effectively depriving Iran of the deal’s benefits by forcing third parties to stop trade with Iran.

Iran remained patient for an entire year, after which it began to take incremental steps away from its nuclear obligations due to the other parties’ proven failure to secure its contractual interests.

The Islamic Republic’s nuclear steps prompted other signatories to enter talks earlier this year with the aim of reviving the JCPOA through a mutual return by all sides to their commitments under the deal.

Elsewhere in his Monday remarks, Cavusoglu hailed as “promising” the rise in the volume of trade between Turkey and Iran, which, he said, increased by 71 percent this year, but the minister also stressed that “We are very far from our goals,” calling for more actions to be taken to promote bilateral trade relations.

Cavusoglu said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would pay a visit to Tehran before the end of 2021, adding that the visit aimed to strengthen mutual cooperation.

For his part, Amir-Abdollahian said that the two countries have agreed to build a new long-term roadmap of cooperation, and expressed hope that it would be inked during Erdogan’s upcoming trip to Iran.

He stated that during the Monday meeting, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on ways to enhance Tehran-Ankara relations, describing the meeting as fruitful.

Referring to existing trade barriers between the two countries, Amir-Abdollahian said necessary measures would be taken to remove those obstacles.

The Iranian minister also noted that the meeting discussed other international and regional issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of maintaining security in Western Asia.

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