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Ankara to continue energy deals with Tehran

Staff Writer |
Turkey's Minister of Energy said his country will continue trade relations with Iran, particularly on energy, and will remain committed to the agreements signed with Tehran.

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Speaking to Turkish TV, A Haber, Fatih Donmez said, Turkey imports 9.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Iran, and we do not intend to leave our people in dark and cold without gas or electricity.

'We have long been observing good neighborly relations with Iran,' he said, adding that the relations would go on despite unilateral U.S. sanctions.

“Even European Union (EU) is extremely annoyed by this. We are conducting legitimate trade here,' he said. “And this is important for us in terms of supply security as well.”

“A delegation of ours is in the United States right now and negotiations are being held on a series of matters, including the sanctions issue,” the Turkish minister said.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, France, Britain, China, and Russia) plus Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015. Iran accepted to curb its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal on May 8, calling it the worst deal ever. Washington has also re-imposed the economic sanctions the first set of which will take effect on August 6.

Washington has urged its allies to halt their oil imports from Iran by November 4. The decision has prompted some major customers of Iran crude, such as South Korean and India, to explore ways for escaping the demand.

Iran's oil made up 55 percent of Turkey's crude supplies in the first four months of 2018.

Ankara-Washington relations are currently strained due to an American pastor imprisoned in Turkey.

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