Simsek: Turkey will only follow UN sanctions on Iran
Turkey has said it will abide by UN sanctions against Iran, but not the more sweeping sanctions imposed on Tehran by the United States and European Union. "We will fully implement UN sanctions, but when it comes to individual countries' demand for extra sanctions, we do not have to (follow suit)," Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said in an interview published Sunday in Britain's Financial Times. "The facilitation of trade that is not prohibited under the UN resolution should and will continue," he was quoted as saying. "If a trade deal needs to be financed, we will have to find a way to pay for it." Simsek's comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that a state-owned Turkish refiner, Tupras, has stepped in to supply Iran after several international companies stopped selling the country refined petroleum. Turkey's foreign economic relations board has meanwhile said the country's ports, notably Mersin and Trabzon, would try to handle some of the trade with Iran that has been going through Dubai, the daily reported. The Gulf emirate is steadily restricting its economic ties with Tehran. Eager to promote trade with its neighbors, Turkey has been following a more assertive and independent foreign policy when it comes to Iran, to the frustration of Washington. Ankara was one of only two UN Security Council members, along with Brazil, to oppose Resolution 1929, which tightened sanctions on the Islamic republic. Sources close to the Turkish government suggest that Ankara will watch the behavior of Russia and China to gauge how much it can afford to ignore unilateral US sanctions, the Financial Times said.