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Turkey’s Growing Ties with Iran Unsettle Washington

Turkey’s growing ties with Iran recently prompted Washington to dispatch senior U.S. Treasury official Roger Cohen to Ankara, who said, "As trade increases and financial ties expand, it runs counter to the international community's desire to constrain Iran and to ensure the choice that has been put to the Iranian leadership between continued defiance and integration with the international community, is as sharp as possible."

Over the past several years Iran and Turkey have in increased their cooperation in many economic fields, including energy, security, trade, education and culture.

Turkish politician Volkan Bozkir, who heads Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, rejected the U.S. threats, commenting, "Countries should be careful in warning Turkey (that) it's not the country of 10 years ago. Is there any rule in the world that the U.S. can impose any sanctions without any U.N. support or legal institutions? It's only the U.N. which can impose sanctions. We will abide by the UN sanctions."

The Obama administration has reportedly warned Turkish banks operating in the U.S. that they could face prosecution if they violate either U.S. or U.N. sanctions imposed by Iran. According to a Turkish diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity, at least one Turkish bank is currently under investigation by the U.S. government, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.
 
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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