Iranian FM condemns U.S. sanctions on Turkey

Tehran condemns the United States for imposing sanctions on Turkey, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a press conference in Istanbul following a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday.

The two ministers said they discussed regional issues in the meeting, and Zarif called his talks with Cavusoglu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “constructive, friendly and fruitful” in a tweet he posted in Turkish and English.

Zarif invited Erdogan to Iran and said cooperation between Ankara and Tehran in the Caucasus would “certainly benefit countries in the region,” and that the two neighbors' cooperation would “get deeper as the United States takes on a more logical approach.”

Turkey, Iran and Russia will continue with a trilateral summit in Tehran in the near future in the format of Astana peace talks for Syria, after having had to postpone such meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. “On the other hand, there is the Turkey-Iran-Azerbaijan triple mechanism. Today we have kicked off preparations to hold all these meetings at the level of foreign ministers and leaders,” Cavusoglu said.

The Turkish minister said Ankara condemned U.S. sanctions on Iran as well.

There are plans in progress for cooperation between Turkey, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus, Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu expressed hope for the United States to return to the nuclear deal with Iran under President Joe Biden, and Zarif said Iran was “ready to do our part once America fulfils its commitments.”

Zarif said Iran’s relations with Turkey was very important for the country, and that he hoped trade volume between the two countries would return to days before the pandemic and the U.S. embargo.

Erdogan's office issued a brief statement announcing Zarif’s visit, but gave no details about their meeting, which was held without media presence.

In a press event on Friday, before the meeting with Zarif, Erdogan said the trade volume between Iran and Turkey had “fallen significantly.”

“Before, we had a process where we had achieved some $30 billion dollars, there has been a significant fall with this coronavirus and the sanctions,” Erdogan said.

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