Ankara maintains opposition to unilateral sanctions on Iran
Turkey respects a recent UN Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran but won't observe unilateral sanctions imposed by third countries, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan reiterated yesterday. Speaking in Washington at the 29th annual meeting of the Turkish-American Council (TAC), Caglayan said, "Turkey's share of Iran's $66 billion imports is only $2.5 billion," and asked rhetorically which countries make up the rest of this. Again pledging that Turkey will fully abide by UN sanctions targeting Iran's controversial nuclear program, Caglayan said, "Prohibitions or restrictions on trading goods other than dual-use goods shouldn't prevent Turkey from doing business with Iran, which is one of Turkey's best suited trade partners." Also speaking at the meeting, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu said, "A nuclear Iran is unacceptable to Turkey. We're well aware of the potential threat." Warning, however, that unilateral US sanctions on Iran could harm Turkey, he added, "Neighboring countries are among the first to fall victim to such situations."