Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turkey and China throw lifeline to Iran

From FT (UK)July 25 2010, by Roula Khalaf and Delphine Strauss in Ankara:

Turkey could emerge as a new safety net for Iranian business as the government insists that it will abide by UN sanctions but not the more sweeping restrictions imposed on Tehran by the US and the European Union. Mehmet Simsek, the finance minister, told the Financial Times that Turkey would not shy away from promoting closer trade links with Iran.

...the International Energy Agency confirmed that a state-owned Turkish refiner, Tupras, had stepped in to supply Iran after several international companies stopped selling the country refined petroleum.

Meanwhile Turkey’s foreign economic relations board said the country’s ports, notably Mersin and Trabzon, would try to handle some of the trade with Iran that has been going through Dubai. The Gulf emirate is steadily restricting its economic ties with Tehran.

Samet Inanir, a strategy counsellor at the economic relations board, said Istanbul could also offer an alternative to Dubai for Iranian investors in real estate. He noted that more than 120 Iranian companies based in Dubai had recently applied to their country’s embassy for information about doing business in Turkey.

...Ankara was one of only two UN Security Council members to oppose Resolution 1929 which tightened sanctions on Iran last month.

... Chinese companies have also been supplying Iran with petroleum...
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