Turkey Defies Trump, Will Keep Importing Iranian Crude, by Tyler Durden

If both Turkey and China keep importing Iranian oil, Trump will not have a lot of leverage against Iran. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Defying the Trump administration, Turkey said it would ignore the State Department’s call on US allies to stop importing Iranian crude oil by November 4, when the latest sanctions against Iran are set to kick in. Earlier this week, the State Department called on all US allies to completely stop buying Iranian crude, sending the price of oil to 4 year highs in the process. While many are trying to find a way around the sanctions, it is for now proving tricky, and many buyers are winding down their purchases of Iranian crude.

But not Turkey.

The decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us. Of course, we will follow the United Nations on its decision. Other than this, we will only follow our own national interests,” Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said according to Turkish daily Hurriyet, adding that “we will pay attention so our friend Iran will not face any unfair actions.”

Turkey is hardly alone in its defiance: oil importers including Japan, South Korea, and India, as well as European countries have said they will continue buying Iranian crude, although whether they will really do that remains to be seen – French oil giant Total has already stopped purchasing Iranian products.

The European Union is particularly concerned about the situation because not only because it relies on substantial Iranian imports, but because there is only so much that the three European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal could do to prevent Tehran from exiting it, which might happen if it stops seeing benefits from it, President Hassan Rouhani said.

The nuclear deal, which Iran signed with the US, France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China, ended the international sanctions that Iran was subjected to because of its nuclear program, and gave it access to international markets, especially oil markets. Yet, if the unilateral US sanctions lead to a closure of this access, Iran will indeed be locked out of any economic benefits from the nuclear deal. Although Tehran still maintains that the nuclear program was not geared towards the weaponization of uranium, Rouhani—and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before him—said Iran will ramp it up if the deal with the West falls through.

To continue reading: Turkey Defies Trump, Will Keep Importing Iranian Crude

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