Energy minister: Turkey may still get U.S. waiver over Iran sanctions

Energy minister: Turkey may still get U.S. waiver over Iran sanctions

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey could still get a waiver over sanctions which the United States plans to implement on countries buying oil from Iran despite not being named on a list of exempted nations released by Washington, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday, March 21, Reuters reported.

"Turkey's absence from the United States waiver list regarding the Iran issue doesn't mean it will not be included," Yildiz told reporters at an energy conference in Ankara.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan plans to raise the issue with U.S. President Barack Obama during a nuclear security summit in South Korea later this month, Turkish officials told Reuters.

Turkey imports around 200,000 barrels per day of oil from Iran, representing over 7 percent of Iran's oil exports. Yildiz said Turkey would continue to buy oil from Iran until existing contracts expire.

The United States exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut purchases of Iranian crude oil, but left Iran's top customers China and India exposed to the possibility of such steps.

Yildiz said Turkey could not halt purchasing from Iran unless other suppliers were lined up.

Turkey has struck a new contract to buy oil from Libya, and has held inconclusive talks over the possibility of buying from Saudi Arabia.

Turkey's sole refiner Tupras, a unit of Koc Holding, is the main customer for Iranian crude. It buys some 30 percent of its crude oil from Iran and has an 9 million metric tonnes (9.9 million tons) annual purchase contract.

Koc Energy Group Chairman Erol Memioglu told reporters last month that Tupras' existing oil contract with Iran ends in August. He said that he expected more clarity on the details of the sanctions in May, before Washington's sanctions on oil-related transactions take effect on June 28. Tupras also warned that the price it pays for oil could increase if it has to seek alternatives to Iranian oil.

 Top stories
In a statement, the court acknowledged that Hamas contests its inclusion on the list, maintained since it was created in 2001.
“We’ve never seen so many journalists held captive — for ransom or other reasons — by nonstate actors,” Robert Mahoney said.
The raids and arrests "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy," a statement said.
“We are going beyond the banalities taught to us for 200 years. We are finally asking the right questions,” the president said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.