Will Turkey Hold Its Ground In Supporting Iran Amid Pressure From US?

A US delegation of Treasury and State Department officials will in Ankara on Friday to discuss sanctions on Iran. The US-Iran conflict has intensified ever since the US pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal post which it has been threatening Iran with a flurry of sanctions. The US asked all nations to stop importing oil from Iran by November but Turkey openly resisted to stop oil imports from Iran.

The US delegation which will be in Ankara on Friday as reported by The Jerusalem Post will discuss Iran sanctions with Turkey which is resisting a cut down in ties with Iran. An official from Turkey’s foreign ministry confirmed the visit of US delegation in Ankara. The delegation is currently holding talks in India and will be flying to Ankara next.

In May 2018, Donald Trump pulled out from the Iran Nuclear Deal hence announcing a reimposition of sanctions on Iran along with a new series of sanctions. The US then urged all its allies to cease importing oil from Iran by November. Turkey, however, openly resisted the call to suspend trade ties with Iran. Turkey is largely dependant on imports for its energy needs. Turkey in the first 4 months of 2018 imported 3 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran which accounts for as much as 55% of its total crude oil supplies.

Three weeks ago the foreign minister of Turkey said that Iran is a good neighbour of Turkey and the two nations share good economic ties. He said that Turkey would not cut trade ties with Iran just because other nations want Turkey to do so. Earlier the Turkish President vehemently criticised the withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. Turkey seems to be standing strongly by Iran’s side as the US plans to isolate Iran economically. Can the US convince Turkey, a NATO member nation on suspending ties with Iran?

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