What is known about the extent of Turkey's compliance with US sanctions on Iran?

I've read some conflicting reports. One from May said that Turkey completely stopped buying Iranian oil, obeying US sanctions. More recently, I've read a shorter report from September that Erdogan said trade with Iran is continuing, despite the threat of US sanctions, but he was hardly specific what that trade involves.

So, are there any clear figures on what Turkey trades with Iran in violation of US sanctions, if anything?


1 Answer 1


Turkish officials have definitely come out against the sanctions:

"Why are you putting pressure on other countries? Take your own measures. Why do other countries have to obey your unilateral decisions?" he [Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu] asked.

However, as far as breaking the sanctions, the closest I could find was this indictment:

According to the indictment, a Turkish Iranian businessman, Reza Zarrab, bribed a Turkish government minister to the tune of tens of millions of dollars to get the bank to agree to his plans. The basis of the plot is that revenues from oil and gas that Iran sold to Turkey were parked in accounts at Halkbank. But under U.S. sanctions, Iran couldn’t access most of the money it made from selling oil and gas.

While this does involve a Turkish official, and, it appears, the US Iran oil sanctions, this seems to be a private company doing this, not necessarily the Turkish Government itself.

Trump has seemed to increase the pressure on Turkey in recent months, though not necessarily as a result of the Iran sanctions specifically.

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