Turkey will not ban Iranian oil imports like the U.S. and European Union, unless United Nations sanctions are imposed, a spokesman for Turkey’s Energy Ministry said Monday.
“We are not bound by EU or US decisions, so we will only block Iranian oil imports if the UN decides to impose such sanctions on Iran,” he said. Turkey receives approximately half of its oil imports from Iran.
The U.S. was successful in pressuring EU countries to inflict more economic pain on themselves by cutting off one of their main oil suppliers, Iran. Now Iran has threatened to cut off all oil exports to the EU, preempting the embargo that was set for six months in the future.
Turkey is an ally of Iran’s, having brokered a deal on a nuclear fuel swap with Iran that satisfied the Obama administration’s demands and was widely considered a diplomatic triumph. Until, that is, that the U.S. rejected it and chose a posture of sanctions and aggression instead. Turkish diplomats still hope to mend ties with Iran and the West.