Erdogan Says Turkey Will Continue Importing Gas From Iran

Erdogan Says Turkey Will Continue Importing Gas From Iran
Erdogan Says Turkey Will Continue Importing Gas From Iran

Turkey will continue to purchase Iran's natural gas, despite the US sanctions on Tehran, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted while in New York attending the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting on Tuesday.

Erdogan said the US threats to punish countries doing business with Iran would not deter Turkey from purchasing Iranian natural gas.

“We need to be realistic ... How can I heat my people’s homes if we stop purchasing Iran’s natural gas?,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

The first round of the US pre-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran, largely targeting the country’s banking sector, came into effect in August.

In November, a second phase of sanctions banning the purchase of Iranian oil and gas is expected to be announced.

Indian Refiners

India’s government has not told the country’s oil refiners to halt their imports of Iranian crude even as most Indian refiners have cut down their imports ahead of the US sanctions.

“We have good relations with Iran and the US and our decision is not hinged on energy,” said a government source.

India has close diplomatic ties with Iran and is building the strategic Chabahar port in the south of the country, which is expected to be operational by 2019.

Iranian oil exports are declining ahead of the second round of sanctions and Iran’s economy is likely to contract 3% this year and 4% in 2019, the Institute of International Finance said.

IIF Evaluation

Exports of crude oil and condensates have declined by 0.8 million barrels per day from April to September, the IIF, which represents major banks and financial institutions from around the world, said.

Crude oil and condensates exports were 2.8 million bpd in April and are estimated at 2.0 million bpd in September.

The IIF said in an updated note on Iran’s economy that oil exports are falling even though Iran is selling key grades at a discount and using its own tankers to ship products to China and India.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Wednesday if DonaldTrump wants the price of oil to stop going up, he should stop interfering in the Middle East.

“The US president is trying to seriously reduce exports of Iran’s oil and also ensure the price of oil does not go up, but these two cannot happen together,” Zanganeh said.

“If he wants the price of oil not to go up and the market not to get destabilized, he should stop unwarranted and disruptive interference in the Middle East and not be an obstacle to the production and export of Iran’s oil.”

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