The natural gas trade between Turkey and Iran will continue as part of a long-term bilateral contract set to run until 2026, Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Wednesday.
Speaking to news channel A Haber, Donmez said Turkey’s natural gas trade with Iran is legitimate and in accordance with a signed contract with an expiry in 2026.
“We import nearly 9.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Iran. We do not have the option of leaving Turkish citizens without electricity or in the cold. Therefore, our trade will continue according to the contract,” he asserted.
The first round of the U.S. pre-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran, largely targeting the country’s banking sector, came into effect early Tuesday.
The sanctions target Tehran’s acquisition of U.S. dollars, precious metals trade, transactions related to Iran’s rial currency, activities related to Iran’s sovereign debt, and the country’s automotive sector.
Donmez described the sanctions as one-sided as they are based on the U.S. government’s imposition on Iran.
“In fact, the EU is also very uncomfortable [about the sanctions]. We are conducting legitimate trade [with Iran]. This is also important in terms of supply security. We also have a neighborly partnership with Iran. I am of the opinion that this [Turkey’s trade with Iran] should be evaluated within this framework,” he explained.
Turkey and the U.S. are also experiencing rocky relations after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.