Anti-Iran US sanctions to deepen Washington-Ankara political row: Turkish expert

TEHRAN, May 07 (MNA) – Turkish expert on Middle Eastern issues Dr. Yasemin Konukçu believes that the US anti-Iran sanctions will have repercussions for Washington-Ankara ongoing political row and will further deepen it.

The unilateral US sanctions against Iran which have recently entered a new phase after the US refused to extend the sanctions waivers for the 8 buyers of Iranian oil, including Turkey, will deepen the political row between two NATO allies, namely United States and Turkey, Dr. Yasemin Konukçu, fellow at Middle East and North Africa Studies Center (ORDAF) told the MNA Turkish Desk.

Konukçu said that Turkey has extensive trade and political relations with neighboring Iran and the unilateral US sanctions will affect the relations between Washington and Ankara. She added that Turkey imports 50% of its need for fuel from Iran.

With regard to the US recent decision not to extend the sanctions exemptions for 8 states, including Turkey, the Turkish political expert said that the move will have negative consequences for Iran’s economy, as the oil is a main source of income in Iran.

She added that the sanctions will also cause problems for the security of the Middle Eastern region and will escalate the regional tensions.

Konukçu further explained that while the region is witnessing different conflicts and terrorism, the US attempts to bring Iran oil sales to zero that will pave the way for more tensions and conflicts in the already volatile region.

The Middle Eastern expert added that while the US calls on countries to replace oil imports from Iran with Saudi and UAE oil, it has also pushed the Saudis for a reduction in crude prices, which can in turn reduce the Saudis’ oil income.

The US support for Saudi Arabia and its coalition in their aggression on Yemen has sparked criticism against them in the world public opinion, according to Konukçu, adding that if US succeeds in anti-Iran policy, Saudi Arabia and UAE will intensify their anti-Iran actions.

In response to a question how the unilateral US sanctions will affect Washington-Ankara bilateral relations, the Turkish expert said that when Ankara officials announced that they were not going to abide by Trump’s ban on Iran oil purchases, the Turkish Lira started to depreciate against the US dollar. She added the political row between Washington and Ankara has further escalated. She stressed that the anti-Iran US sanctions will further deepen Washington-Ankara political row.

Konukçu added that while the hawks in Washington are pushing US towards a war with Iran, the majority of the American people support the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and oppose starting any war.

Interview by: Azar Mahdavan

Translated from Farsi into English by: Kamal Iranidoost

News Code 144998

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