Turkey has legitimate trade ties with Iran and foreign factors should not inhibit the development of relations, Yilmaz told IRNA on Thursday ahead of his three-day visit to Iran at the head of an economic delegation.
Pointing to the unilateral Western sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program, the Turkish minister said that Turkey abides only by the UN Security Council ratifications.
Iran is a neighbor of Turkey and Ankara follows legitimate trade ties with Iran, which is by no means in violation of the international law, he stressed.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Over the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed a series of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The bans come on top of four rounds of US-instigated UN Security Council sanctions against Iran under the same pretext.
Iran refutes the allegation over its nuclear energy program and argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Yilmaz went on to say that Iran and Turkey hold favorable ties and seek to increase the volume of trade transactions to USD 35 billion from the current level of USD 22 billion.
He described investments as an instrumental factor in the consolidation of economic ties between the two countries and added that Ankara welcomes investments made by Iranian companies in Turkey.
The Turkish minister said his country supports the expansion of cooperation with Iran in all areas, in particular in the energy sector and holds a positive view toward the transfer of Iran’s gas to Europe via Turkey.
Turkey is in dire need of energy and also located on a strategic corridor for the transfer of energy, Yilmaz stressed.
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