Turkey will continue economic ties with Iran despite US sanctions – official (Exclusive)

Tehran, Iran, July 4

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:

The head of Iran-Turkey Trade Council said senior Turkish officials have clearly stated that they will continue to honor their agreements with Iran, and that they will not cut off trade ties with Tehran at the behest of other countries.

“Turkey’s Ministry of Economy, Foreign Ministry and government spokesman have clearly said that they would comply only with UN-led sanctions and not those unilateral ones imposed by the US against Iran,” Reza Kami told Trend on July 4.

He added, “Turkey will continue to cooperate with Iran based on the terms of the agreements signed between the two countries”.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Referring to Iran-Turkey trade ties during the era of anti-Iran sanctions in 2012, Kami said, “At the time, the value of Tehran-Ankara trade transactions reached $22 billion.”

The upcoming sanctions will increase the volume and value of the two countries’ trade turnover.

The head of Iran-Turkey Trade Council said Tehran and Ankara are weighing plans to arrive at a consensus and expand the list of goods included in their preferential trade agreement.

The two should also add their industrial goods to their PTA and think up of new banking methods to facilitate the process of money transfer.

In December, Iran and Turkey announced their plans to add 60 categories of goods each to their preferential trade agreement. The PTA between Iran and Turkey was first signed in January 2014 and took effect a year later.

Iranian experts argue that the country’s economic interests have not been incorporated in its preferential trade agreement with Turkey and this has had consequences for the Iranian economy.

In May 2017, during a meeting of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Islamabad, the Turkish president lauded the relations between Tehran and Ankara and said his country is resolved to finalize a preferential trade agreement with Iran and to achieve the goal of $30 billion in bilateral trade.

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