Iran rejects remarks by US assistant secretary on Tehran-Ankara ties (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, July 21
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:
The head of Iran-Turkey Trade Council rejected remarks by US Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea that his talks in Ankara against Iran were very “positive”.
“(It is not something new and) Americans always make such claims,” Reza Kami told Trend on July 21.
He added that senior Turkish officials have repeatedly stressed their country’s opposition to the unilateral US sanctions against Iran, noting, “I believe Turkey will not follow the US at this juncture”.
His remarks came after Billingslea, who met with Turkish treasury and Foreign Ministry officials on Friday, said his talks in Ankara were very “positive” and there was “no hostility” on either side.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said it was monitoring the sanctions and authorities were working to ensure Turkey is not “negatively impacted by the upcoming sanctions.”
"I think the Turkish government understands our position on that,” the US official further said, adding, "Iran may be a neighbor of Turkey but they are not a friend or an ally”.
Turkey, in its statement, had said Iran was an "important neighbor" for "economic and commercial relations, as well as our energy imports."
The head of Iran-Turkey Trade Council further said that Ankara stood by Iran during the years of sanctions in 2012 and 2013 when the volume of trade between the two nations reached $22 billion.
“Iran-Turkey ties are at a good level and talks have long been underway to boost bilateral trade ties between the two countries,” Kami said.