MNA – Turkey is happy to receive oil from Iran and won’t be joining US efforts to block Iranian crude exports, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, refusing to cut economic ties with “strategic partner” Tehran, RT reported.
“Iran is both our neighbor and our strategic partner,” and severing ties with Tehran on America’s whim goes against Turkey’s “understanding of sovereignty,” Erdogan said on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the US vowed to boost economic pressure on Iran, targeting its energy sector. Washington is planning to hit Tehran by “reducing to zero its revenue on crude oil sales,” Brian Hooks, the US State Department’s director of policy planning declared two weeks ago.
US officials traveled to Ankara hoping to get the nation on board with the planned energy blockade. But Turkey, which receives more than half of its oil from Iran, rejected the proposal. “Who will heat my country throughout the winter?” Erdogan said, as quoted by AP.
Similar sentiments were voiced by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. “We met a delegation from the United States, and said that we won’t participate in sanctions against Iran. We are getting oil from Iran. We are getting it under good conditions,” Cavusoglu told journalists in the Turkish town of Bodrum on Tuesday, as reported by local media. “We are not obliged to respect any country’s sanctions against Iran.”