Apr 17 2019

Turkey seeks new mechanisms to continue trading with Iran despite sanctions

Turkey is looking for ways to avoid U.S. sanctions and continue trading with Iran, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday.

“Along with the existing mechanisms, we evaluated how we can establish new mechanisms, like INSTEX...how we can remove the obstacles before us and before trade,” the Saudi Gazette quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying after a meeting in Ankara with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif.

“What is important here is the solidarity and determination between us,” Çavuşoğlu said.

European countries opened a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran to avert sanctions, dubbed the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from the nuclear agreement signed with Iran by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Turkey’s trade volume with neighbouring Iran amounts to around $9 billion, including large quantities of imported Iranian raw petroleum materials and natural gas.

Ankara has applied for a fresh waiver on Iranian oil purchases after one was granted last year when the new round of U.S. sanctions took effect.

However, Çavuşoğlu indicated that Turkey would continue to bolster its trading relationship with Iran, and said he hoped to more than triple trade volumes to $30 billion.