Iranian foreign minister hails relations with Turkey

Published 26.08.2018 21:34 Modified 26.08.2018 21:34

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif yesterday praised Turkey-Iran relationship and voiced his country's support for Turkey against U.S. sanctions over the detention of terror-linked American pastor, Andrew Brunson.

"Turkey is a leading country among those we have good relations with," Zarif told Iran's state television.

He also added that Tehran would cooperate with Ankara to put out a wildfire in the Iraqi part of the Hour al-Azim wetland.

Since the beginning of July, more than 20,000 hectares in Hour al-Azim have been affected by the wildfire, which mainly originated in the Iraqi part.

However, amid Iraq's reluctance to stop the fire, Iran decided to take a break from its efforts last week, until Iraq started contributing.

Zarif said his country would hold talks with Turkey and Iraq in an effort to resolve environment and water-related troubles in the region.

Iran currently has a water shortage that has caused some form of drought in 97 percent of the country, reported Al-Jazeera at the beginning of the month.

Zarif said that Turkey's recent economic difficulties were triggered by the psychological atmosphere created by the U.S.

Turkey-U.S. relations took a nosedive on Aug. 1, when the Trump administration sanctioned Turkey's interior and justice ministers after Ankara refused to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

On Aug. 10, Trump upped the ante by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

In response, Turkey raised tariffs on several U.S.-made goods, including alcohol and tobacco products as well as motor vehicles.

Political tensions between Ankara and Washington had sparked worries in global markets, but the Turkish lira staged a recovery last week, after positive messages from European capitals and Qatar's decision to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

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