Iran sanctions will harm people of region: Turkey minister

<p style="text-align: left;">Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez on Friday said the US sanctions against Iran will harm the people of region and the neighboring countries.

The US sanctions against Iran will cause trouble for the Iranian people and also the people of region and the neighboring countries, including Turkey, Donmez said in an exclusive interview with broadcaster NTV in Ankara on Friday.

Expressing Ankara opposition with the US unilateral sanctions, he noted that the US sanctions on Iran indirectly impact the Turkish people.

Under conditions set down by the US, the exemption only applies to a quarter of Turkey&rsquo;s oil imports from Iran, meaning it will need to cut its purchases of Iranian crude to about three million tons, compared with the 11.5 million tons it bought last year, Donmez said.

Turkish refiner Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS is already seeking alternatives to Iranian imports, according to Donmez.

The Turkish official also said his country still had a contract to buy natural gas from Iran for five to six years and added that Ankara would continue to buy gas from Tehran.

The US President Donald Trump announced early May that Washington would pull out of Iran nuclear deal and reinstate sanctions, which had been lifted under the accord.

The first round of the sanctions snapped back into place in August, with the second round, targeting the energy and oil sectors, that took effect on November 5.

This is while other signatories to the deal (i.e. Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia) have thus far criticized Washington's unilateral move and repeatedly stressed their commitment to the deal.

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