Turkey’s Foreign Ministry says the country’s officials are working to prevent Ankara from being negatively affected by the US move to re-impose nuclear sanctions against Iran in the wake of Washington’s withdrawal from a historic nuclear deal signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
The ministry made the announcement in a statement on Friday after a US delegation of Treasury and State Department officials held talks with Turkish authorities in Ankara on upcoming Washington’s sanctions against Tehran.
US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from a nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
The US president also said that he planned to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The Turkish foreign ministry’s statement further emphasized that Iran was an important neighbor for Turkey and that Ankara would continue to monitor the US sanctions within this framework.
Washington has said it would be returning the sanctions in August and threatened the countries that maintain business with Iran despite the bans with “secondary sanctions.”
It has also warned countries against keeping up their crude purchases from Iran from November 4 onward.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that the Islamic Republic has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the United States’ “unlawful” move to re-impose “unilateral” sanctions against Tehran.
“Today Iran filed a complaint [with] @CIJ_ICJ to hold US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions,” Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday.
Late last month, however, Ankara said it remained determined to maintain trade ties with Iran.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on June 29 that his country remains determined to maintain trade ties with Iran.
“If the United States’ decisions are aimed at peace and stability, then we’ll support them, but we don’t have to follow every decision. Being allies doesn’t mean following every decision word for word,” Cavusoglu told the Turkish broadcaster NTV in an interview.
Iran has been Turkey’s leading supplier of crude oil for most of the past two decades, ceding first place to Iraq only for three years during the recent period of US sanctions.
Imports last year came to 11.493 million tonnes, or 44.6% of the total supply, at an average of 230,800 barrels per day (bpd), up 66% from the 6.939 million tonnes supplied in 2016, according to reports.
Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said on July 10 that the upcoming US move to re-impose sanctions on Iran will create “difficult conditions” for the country but the Islamic Republic will forcefully resist against the United States’ economic war.