Turkey has called for removal of Western sanctions on Iran and Venezuela amid the global energy crisis triggered by Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, and the fact that skyrocketing energy prices are compounding a cost-of-living crisis for hundreds of millions of people.
“The entire world needs Venezuela's oil and natural gas... On the other side, there is an embargo on the Iranian oil,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in the country’s southern province of Mersin on Friday.
“Remove these sanctions... if you want the prices to drop, remove the embargoes on the countries that will offer their products to the market,” he added.
“You cannot solve the problem by threatening a country,” the top Turkish diplomat pointed out.
Back in August, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji warned of a global energy crisis this winter, saying Tehran stands ready to increase its oil exports by a significant amount if sanctions are removed from the country.
Speaking a day after a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a body known as OPEC+, on August 4, Owji reiterated Iran’s previous statements that the country will be able to immediately return to an oil export figure of nearly 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) that was seen before US sanctions were imposed on the country in 2018.
“As the largest holder of (combined) oil and gas resources in the world, we are ready to increase our crude oil output to the pre-sanctions level in the least time possible,” Owji said.
He noted, however, that continued political standoffs with major oil suppliers, including Iran, could lead a to a major energy crisis in Europe and elsewhere this winter.
He expressed hope that Western governments would adopt a more logical approach in dealing with the oil issue as he insisted that increased oil and gas supplies from Iran would help restore balance and calm to the global markets.
“This winter will be very significant for the Europeans and for the entire world and they (governments) should think now,” the minister added.
Venezuela has been hit by US oil sanctions since 2019. During the 1990s, the South American country was among the top suppliers of oil to the world. It exported over 3.2 million barrels per day. The sanctions against the country were imposed by former US president Donald Trump administration.
Iran is under US sanctions as talks between Tehran and major world powers over lifting of anti-Iranian embargoes and revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stall.
The Islamic Republic also has the world's second largest natural gas reserves.
Moscow's move to cut off gas supplies to Europe amid tensions over Ukraine has triggered an energy crisis across the continent, with consumers and businesses facing high prices as winter approaches.