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Turkey hopes for US waiver on Iran sanctions

Turkey hopes for US waiver on Iran sanctions
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Turkey may not be punished by the US for buying oil from Iran according to Ankara.

Washington has exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut their purchases of Iranian crude, but Turkey is not on that exemption list.

Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said it could be included and the country is looking to find other suppliers, but for now has to keep buying from Iran.

Turkey’s absence from the United States waiver list regarding the Iran issue doesn’t mean it will not be included,” Yildiz told reporters at an energy conference in Ankara.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan plans to raise the issue with US President Barack Obama during a nuclear security summit in South Korea later this month, Turkish officials have told Reuters.

Turkey imports around 200,000 barrels per day of oil from Iran, representing over seven percent of Iran’s oil exports. Yildiz said Turkey would continue to buy oil from Iran until existing contracts expire.

Turkey has signed a new contract to buy oil from Libya, and has held inconclusive talks over the possibility of buying from Saudi Arabia.

Washington’s sanctions on oil-related transactions are due to take effect on June 28.

Banks are under threat of being cut off from the US financial system under the new sanctions which are designed to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme.