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Turkish foreign minister says US sanctions on Iran are ‘unilateral’

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Turkey has conveyed to the US that its sanctions on Iran that will come into effect on Nov. 4 are “unilateral,” the Turkish foreign minister said on Wednesday, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the US is implementing sanctions on Iran “unilaterally” and that Japan, other Asian countries, the EU and Turkey are against them.

In May US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from a 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations — the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

Trump began to reinstate US sanctions on Tehran in August, with sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector set to retake effect on Nov. 4.

The sanctions are expected to impact Iranian oil exports, which provide Tehran with the revenue needed to finance its national budget.

European Union countries along with Turkey have condemned Trump’s action, vowing to find ways to bypass the re-imposed sanctions.

“We have conveyed [to the US] our necessary demands to get an exemption on this issue,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.

Çavuşoğlu said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had previously mentioned that Turkey is buying natural gas from Russia and Iran and that if it does not have more options, the country will have to continue buying gas from those two countries.

He said the US made a decision but that it affects everyone.

“You can make a decision, but why do you want to punish other companies and countries? It is not a decision of the UN Security Council,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He said Turkey has already told the US that the latter’s decisions are unilateral and that when other countries do not comply, the credibility of the US will be harmed.

“Therefore, before taking steps on these issues, you have to consult especially with the countries of the region. You have to consult with the countries trading with Iran,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu said the US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran unilaterally, but European countries did not withdraw.

“It means that they value this deal,” he added.

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