Turkey welcomes over 800,000 Iranians in first four months

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 23.07.2018 22:49

Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce President Jalal Sayyid Brahimi said the upcoming U.S. sanctions will not affect ties between Turkey and Iran, adding that over 800,000 Iranian tourists visited Turkey in the first four months of this year.

Brahimi also noted the trade volume between the two countries stands at around $12.5 billion.

Speaking to Iranian Labour News Agency, he stated that oil, natural gas, petrochemicals, dried fruits, medicinal plants and minerals stand as the top traded products. Speaking of the U.S. delegation of Treasury and State Department that came to Turkey last Friday to meet with Turkish authorities to discuss upcoming U.S. sanctions targeting Iran, Brahimi said, "We do not expect Turkey-Iran ties to be negatively affected by the U.S. sanction. There was any decrease in exports and imports between the two countries until now."

Marshall Billingslea, the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, was in Turkey on Friday to partake in negotiations with Turkish authorities and hold meetings with Turkish companies who have been operating in Iran for years.

As Billingslea put it, he was in Turkey "to educate Turkish companies" on behalf of the American administration. "We definitely are encouraging the companies to wind down their businesses. That's why we gave the 180 days. It is up to the individual companies to make their business decisions. We are not in a situation that we are trying to dictate Turkish companies on what to do," he told Daily Sabah in an interview.

Turkey remains skeptical of the idea, as in the first four months of this year, Turkey bought more than 3 million tons of crude oil from Iran, almost 55 percent of its total crude supplies; Tehran remains Ankara's biggest crude oil exporter in the first quarter of 2018 despite a 20 percent decrease.

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