Trump administration is protesting Turkey’s efforts to come up with new methods to keep trading with Iran.
Although the State Department officials insist that their decision to end the special status for some certain countries to be able to continue trading with Iran was solely to enforce Iran to comply with the embargo, and was not targeting any other country, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu had harshly criticized the US’ decision. He said that this decision will only add to the current instability in the region.
Deputy Secretary of State Francis Fannon has gone on record to say that they are actively looking into alternative energy sources for Turkey, and that they have successfully mediated a trade deal between Iraq and Turkey.
Energy Expert Necdet Pamir recently answered DW’s questions regarding this issue. He says that although Turkey seems to be talking tough against the US decision, it is, de facto complying with the embargo. Turkey’s oil imports from Turkey effectively stopped in November of 2018. In the next two months, Iranian oil accounted for a measly 2 to 13% of imports. Pamir says that Turkey’s rhetoric about not giving in to US pressure is not reflective of the real situation and these types of populist and nationalist discourse did nothing to help with the trade between the two countries.
On the possible economic ramifications of the US ending the special status for Turkey, he had these to say: “We do not know for sure since it is a trade secret, but if Iran was truly supplying oil to Turkey at advantageous rates, the decision will obviously be detrimental to us. But the real problem lies in the fact that as the embargo takes hold, oil prices will go up. Turkey uses oil for 31% of its energy needs, and it imports 94% of the oil it uses. If the prices go up, it will definitely be bad for Turkey’s economy.”
Mr. Pamir goes on to warn that Turkey must not try and go behind the scenes to facilitate trade, as it did with Zarrab, as this would cause ire as it did then, leaving Turkey in a much worse position.