US envoy to visit Turkey over Iran sanctions

Published 20.10.2010 14:20

A key US official is going to start his three-day visit to Turkey today to meet with government officials, bureaucrats and businessmen in İstanbul and Ankara.

Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, held similar talks in Baku yesterday. "We're looking to follow up on the steps needed to implement the latest UN sanctions against Iran and to share information, especially with the private sector, about threats posed by Iranian illicit conduct," he was quoted as saying in an earlier interview by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Turkey, a close US ally that has a more than 400-kilometer-long border with Iran, voted against the latest round of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic in June after its joint efforts with Brazil to convince the West to seek a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program failed. Despite its disapproval of the sanctions, Turkey pledged to remain loyal to the decision taken by 12 votes in favor in the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC).

Recently, some in the West have given voice to accusations that some Iranian companies' activities in Turkey are in violation of those sanctions. Denying the allegations, Turkey says its exports to Iran are not in the fields that are subject to the latest UNSC decision. Turkish exports accounted for slightly more than 3 percent of the Islamic Republic's imports, while natural gas imported from Iran made up 80 percent of Turkey's Iranian imports last year.

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