Babacan: "EU and US sanctions are making Turkish Banks hesitant about Iran"
Sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and the European Union have made Turkish banks reluctant to do business with Iran, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said yesterday, adding that it is up to them whether they want to do business with Iran. Babacan said he doubts sanctions will cause Iran to change its stance on its uranium enrichment program, which Washington suspects is a cover to develop atomic weapons. Stating that Turkey will comply with UN Security Council resolutions, Babacan said Ankara has not provided guidelines to its banking sector on how to grapple with the new US and EU sanctions. "We don't believe in sanctions," he told reporters. "We don't believe that they will ultimately make the Iranians act as they are expected to act. So why would we do things we don't believe in? That's the bottom line." On Turkish banks' hesitation towards Iran, Babacan said, "We're seeing hesitation. Some of them are finding ways to do business, some of them may be pausing and trying to decide what to do, but there's obviously some hesitation." He said Turkey still hopes to triple its trade with Iran in five years, but acknowledged that the sanctions will make this harder.