Iranian foreign minister hails his country’s relations with Turkey

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AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday hailed his country’s relations with Turkey, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Turkey is a leading country among those with which we have good relations,” he told Iranian state television.

The top Iranian diplomat said Tehran would cooperate with Ankara to put out wildfires in the Iraqi part of the Hour al-Azim wetland.

He said his country would hold talks with Turkey and Iraq in an effort to resolve environmental and water-related issues in the region.

Zarif also said recent economic difficulties in Turkey were triggered by the psychological atmosphere created by the US.

Turkish-US relations took a nosedive on Aug. 1 when the Trump administration announced sanctions on Turkey’s interior and justice ministers after Ankara refused to release an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

On Aug. 10 Trump upped the ante by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

In response, Turkey raised tariffs on several US-made goods, including alcohol and tobacco products as well as vehicles.

Political tensions between Ankara and Washington had sparked worries in markets, but the Turkish lira staged a recovery last week after positive messages from European capitals and Qatar’s decision to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

The US recently unveiled new sanctions on Iran after breaking a nuclear deal that was forged by the previous US administration with Iran.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said Turkey would not implement US sanctions and would continue to trade with its neighboring country.

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