Turkey has no plans to cut ties with Iran’s oil reserves as U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime take effect, a Turkish senior official said Tuesday.
“We buy oil from Iran and we purchase it in proper conditions,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told local reporters. “What is the other option?” Turkey is in the final stages of an arms deal with Russia, which could leave the U.S.’ NATO ally open to sanctions.
“While we are explaining why we will not obey these sanctions, we have also expressed that we do not find these U.S. sanctions appropriate,” Cavusoglu added. President Donald Trump is attempting to isolate Iran, which has threatened to develop nuclear weapons, and deprive the regime of access to international sources of revenue.
Turkey is also hashing out an agreement to purchase Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defenses, even as the country’s NATO allies slap sanctions on the Russian defense industry. The U.S leveled sanctions on Russia due to the country’s continued aggressive behavior toward Ukraine.
The sanctions have cutoff Iran from the international market. The country exports 2.4 million barrels a day of crude. Analysts had estimated that anywhere between 400,000 to 1 million barrels could be at risk once sanctions are fully implemented. Iran’s absence has dramatically curbed worldwide oil production.
Saudi Arabia increased its crude output in June to the highest level in two years after the U.S., China, India, and others exerted pressure on the oil-rich nation. (RELATED: Trump: ‘OPEC Is At It Again’)
The uptick came as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Nations (OPEC) forecast global oil demand to surpass 100 million barrels per day (bpd) next year. Saudi Arabia reportedly pumped 10.5 million barrels of oil in June, up from 10 million the month before.
OPEC produced more than 32.3 million bpd in June, up 173,000 bpd from the previous month, according to the independent figures. The group had been limiting production levels to relieve a glut that had bottomed-out oil prices to 12-year lows.
The cartel agreed to increase production after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran, which contributes roughly 2.4 million barrels a day of crude into the global supply. Analysts estimated that anywhere between 400,000 to 1 million barrels could be at risk once sanctions are fully implemented.
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