Turkey rescues Iran....
It looks like Turkey will do what it can to help Iran get around sanctions...
Turkey could emerge as a new safety net for Iranian business as the government insists that it will abide by UN sanctions but not the more sweeping restrictions imposed on Tehran by the US and the European Union.
Mehmet Simsek, the finance minister, told the Financial Times that Turkey would not shy away from promoting closer trade links with Iran.
“We will fully implement UN resolutions but when it comes to individual countries’ demands for extra sanctions we do not have to,” said Mr Simsek.
EU foreign ministers were due to meet on Monday to agree new economic sanctions on Iran, going well beyond the measures approved by a UN resolution last month.
“The facilitation of trade that is not prohibited under UN resolution should and will continue.” If a trade deal needs to be financed, added Mr Simsek, “we will have to find a way to pay for it”.
His comments came as the International Energy Agency confirmed that a state-owned Turkish refiner, Tupras, had stepped in to supply Iran after several international companies stopped selling the country refined petroleum.
Meanwhile Turkey’s foreign economic relations board said the country’s ports, notably Mersin and Trabzon, would try to handle some of the trade with Iran that has been going through Dubai. The Gulf emirate is steadily restricting its economic ties with Tehran.
Samet Inanir, a strategy counsellor at the economic relations board, said Istanbul could also offer an alternative to Dubai for Iranian investors in real estate. He noted that more than 120 Iranian companies based in Dubai had recently applied to their country’s embassy for information about doing business in Turkey.