Ankara will continue to permit Turkish companies to sell gasoline to Iran, despite US sanctions against fuel exports to Islamic regime, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
"If the preference of the private sector is to sell these products to Iran, we will help them," said Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. RELATED:
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Tupras, Turkey's sole oil refiner and gasoline exporter, expressed little fear of retribution from US Treasury officials who have the power to ban sanctions violators from accessing the US banking system or receiving US contracts.
"For us, Iran is more important than America because we get crude oil from them. We don't get anything from America," a Tupras official was quoted as saying.
Turkey importance as a gasoline supplier to Iran has increased over the past month as US sanctions have deterred other foreign suppliers.
Iran’s gasoline imports fell 50 percent last month
as sanctions spurred traders to halt supplies, according to Energy Market Consultants Ltd.
Iran received about 60,000 barrels a day in July, compared with 120,000 in May, according to Vijay Mukherji, a London-based research associate at EMC. The consultant revised its earlier estimate of 65,000 to 70,000 barrels a day.
“International trading companies have pulled back,” Mukherji said. “The US, Europe and the UN are aiming to cut Iran off. They just don’t want them to get any oil-product supplies.”
US President Barack Obama signed legislation on July 1 that punishes
foreign suppliers of Iran’s gasoline and blocks access to the American
financial system for banks that do business with the country. Gasoline
sanctions weren’t mandated by the UN or imposed by the European Union.
Shipments of the fuel are now dominated by Turkish and Chinese companies, Mukherji said.