Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz has downplayed US-led sanctions against Iran, insisting that Turkey is continuing to purchase crude oil from the Islamic Republic.

“Turkey borders Iran and Iran supplies almost half of Turkey's crude oil. Therefore, Turkey's position is slightly different from other countries," Yildiz said after meeting EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Kuwait City on Tuesday.

The Turkish minister, who is in Kuwait to attend the 13th International Energy Forum, added that natural gas projects would not probably fall within the framework of sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Iran, IRNA reported.

He noted that Iran's crude oil makes up one or two percent of British and French imports.

"In this sense, we have a different place than other countries. We have a good friendship with Iran, and we have many ongoing projects. We are the only country among (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) OECD countries that has border with Iran," the minister stated.

He reiterated that Turkey will continue to purchase crude oil from Iran and 11 other countries and natural gas from five countries.

EU foreign ministers approved sanctions against Iran on January 23, including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) within the bloc’s states and a ban on selling diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Tehran.

The United States and some of its allies have repeatedly accused Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, using the false pretext to impose sanctions against Iran.

Iran has vehemently rejected the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.

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News ID 181598