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Turkish finance minister optimistic over Iran sanctions-busting case

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Turkey has positive expectations regarding an Iran sanctions-busting case in the United States related to Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said following talks with his US counterpart, Reuters reported.

A US federal court in May sentenced a Halkbank executive to 32 months in prison for helping Tehran evade US sanctions. Halkbank faces potential US fines in relation to that case.

Albayrak’s comments came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced over the weekend that he had discussed the bank with US President Donald Trump.

Erdoğan gave few details of those talks, but his comments came amid indications that Washington and Ankara are trying to repair ties that have been in crisis this year over a host of issues, including the conviction of a Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla for helping Iran evade US sanctions.

“We had a positive meeting with our US counterpart [Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin]. He said he would follow the process closely,” Erdoğan’s son-in-law Albayrak told broadcaster A Haber.

“We told them that Halkbank had not violated sanctions. … We have positive expectations,” he said.

Shares in Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank surged 5.88 to 7.37 lira.

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