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US warns Turkey against financial transactions with Iran

Business Materials 28 April 2011 15:45 (UTC +04:00)
The United States has warned Turkey against conducting financial transactions with Iran and asked Ankara to halt the operations of an Iranian state-run bank in the country, local media reported Thursday.
US warns Turkey against financial transactions with Iran

The United States has warned Turkey against conducting financial transactions with Iran and asked Ankara to halt the operations of an Iranian state-run bank in the country, local media reported Thursday.

David Cohen, the US acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, on Wednesday urged Ankara to "isolate" Bank Mellat's branches in Turkey, Milliyet newspaper reported.

Cohen said during a visit to Turkey this week that the bank - which has three branches in Turkey - is facilitating financial transactions that support Iran's nuclear programme, DPA reported.

The US, European Union and some South Asian countries have imposed restrictions on Bank Mellat's operations.

Turkey has come under criticism in recent months for strengthening trade ties with Iran as Western nations attempt to isolate the country financially over disagreements about Tehran's nuclear programme.

Turkey said earlier this year that its trade volume with Iran had reached 10 billion dollars annually and that it hoped to increase the figure to 30 billion.

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