Iranian president eyes further cooperation with Turkey for regional stability

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.12.2018 00:09
Updated 10.12.2018 08:13

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that his country wanted to further improve relations with Turkey and that the joint Ankara and Tehran agreement to collaborate in numerous fields, including banking and energy topics, particularly trade under sanctions imposed by the U.S., should be implemented faster. The statement came following Rouhani's meeting with Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım, which was part of the Meeting of Parliament Speakers on Combating Terrorism and Extremism. In reference to decisions taken by Turkey, Russia and Iran in recent meetings, Rouhani went on to say that these decisions provided significant benefits in terms of financial cooperation and regional issues.

Turkey, Russia and Iran have agreed to use their local currencies for trade between the three countries, a decision that was announced following the trilateral meeting of the three countries in Tehran in early September.

Iran has been seeking Turkey's support, in addition to other trading partners like the European Union, China and Russia, in taking measures against the sanctions reinstated by the Donald Trump administration on May 8 when he announced the withdrawal of his country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was adopted in 2015 and began implementation in January 2016.

Known informally as the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA was seen as a great step toward ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East when the P5+1 countries - the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany - along with the EU agreed to relieve sanctions imposed on Iran on the condition that the country curb its nuclear capacity.

The first round of sanctions began taking effect on Aug. 6, prohibiting the Iranian government from buying U.S. dollars, conducting trade transactions in gold or other valuable metals and investing in Iranian debt. These sanctions also target Iran's steel and aluminum sectors as they forbid the country's trade of aluminum, steel, graphite, coal and certain types of software.

"Iran aspires to secure sincere relations with its brother and friend Turkey and is developing in every field," Rouhani said.

Moreover, the Iranian president also stressed that Turkey and Iran have faced terrorism for years and both countries have carried out cooperation against regional-level terrorism in the past years. He also saluted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his stance against the U.S. sanctions and constructive manner regarding issues in the Islamic community.

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