Turkey eyes US sanctions waivers on Iran oil, Russia arms

Finance Daily – Presidential spokesman and adviser Ibrahim Kalin told a news conference he could not be certain that the waivers would be allowed. But, he said Turkey had made a case which should be heeded.

Waivers for Turkey might place the White House on a second collision course with Congress. And senior lawmakers from both parties have come out in strong support of sanctions in case Russian missile systems are purchased by Turkey.

The USA re-imposed sanctions on Iran, for example on its energy industry, in November after President Donald Trump pulled out of the milestone 2015 Iran nuclear deal. At the identical time, it issued waivers permitting Turkey, six additional countries and Taiwan to keep purchases to avoid roiling oil markets and also to reduce the financial blow.

“We are anticipating an extension for Turkey,” Kalin said. “We’ve made it clear we would like to keep to buy oil. Individuals should not expect Turkey to turn its back on Iran like this.”

Early next month the waivers enabling Turkey and other people to import oil perish. U.S. officials also have stated that three of the eight waivers won’t need extensions when they expire on May 2 since those recipients have eliminated their imports of Iranian oil. But they’ve refused to say whether some of the will be extended.

Kalin stated Turkey needs a waiver for sanctions which will be triggered if it require delivery of Russia’s advanced S-400 missile defense mechanisms within Washington’s objections.

Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 has made a deep rift between the NATO allies, even with U.S. officials caution of significant consequences if it’s finalized and Turkish officials saying it’s a done deal that will not be cancelled.

Kalin stated Erdogan and other officials have been pressing against Trump to utilize a presidential exemption to spare Turkey against sanctions under legislation known as the Adversaries of the Countering America Through Sanctions Act, which is directed at the defense market of Russia in part. The exemption allows Trump to bypass the mandated sanctions should he determine it’s in U.S. federal security interests to do so.

“If it comes to it, obviously we’d expect President Trump to utilize his own waiver,” Kalin said. He stressed that he couldn’t speak for Trump or alternative U.S. officials but said that Trump had promised Erodgan that he would personally look into the circumstance. Kalin said that he expected delivery of the S-400 system to be finished within 2-3 months.

Along with the sanctions, the Pentagon and State Department have stated the S-400 purchase will sabotage Turkey’s involvement in the U.S. F-35 fighter aircraft application. U.S. officials say Turkey’s use of this Russian surface-to-air missile defense system could be a danger to this F-35 app and have suspended some elements of Turkey’s participation.

Kalin said Turkey was optimistic the U.S. would consent to some Turkish proposal to prepare a specialized committee to examine potential security dangers introduced by the S-400.

Kalin spoke to colleagues at the Turkish Embassy as he wrapped up a visit to Washington including the ministers of defense, finance and trade.

In addition to their encounters using U.S. officials such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, behaving Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan along with Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, ” the officers spoke at the American-Turkish Council’s annual seminar on U.S.-Turkey connections.

Shanahan satisfied with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday for about 40 minutes in the Pentagon, according to Defense Department officials. The meeting touched on all of the continuing areas of discussion such as Turkey’s plans to buy the ongoing fight against State militants from Syria and the, they said.

Acting chief Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers Jr. said Shanahan and Akar”concentrated their discussion interests, rather than rankings, and on the importance of U.S.-Turkish collaboration” in gaining security and prosperity for both countries and the area.