Turkey's TUPRAS to discontinue activities in Iran

October 3, 2010

The Turkish Petroleum Refineries Co., TUPRAS, has decided to discontinue its activities in Iran's energy sector.

“It is TUPRAS’s own decision. The executive board of TUPRAS made the decision following the privatization of the company,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters Friday.
The United States State Department included TUPRAS in a statement Thursday on a list of companies that have announced they are discontinuing their activities in Iran's energy sector.
“As part of our efforts to increase the pressure on the government of Iran to comply with its international obligations, the U.S. government has been aggressively urging foreign governments and companies to avoid commercial activity in Iran's energy sector until Iran complies with its international obligations,” the statement said.
The document also said the results of the State Department's efforts were clear, adding that the companies were recognizing the increased risks of doing business in Iran and terminating their operations there or committing not to engage in any new activities in Iran.
""Turkish refiner TUPRAS told the State Department in August that it had cancelled contracts to supply gasoline to Iran,"" the statement said.
Asked about the statement from the U.S., Yildiz said items pertaining to petroleum products were not included in the UN Security Council's economic sanctions against Iran.
""However, the resolutions, related to fuel supply of the said nuclear power plants, bind us in legal sense. The U.S. itself has some sanctions regarding petroleum products. There is the trade of the private sector here.
The private sector may continue its commerce or not. Turkey does not have any sanction or statement in this respect,"" Yildiz said.
Yildiz said commerce related to natural gas and crude oil was continuing for TUPRAS.
However, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said they had not received any information regarding TUPRAS’s termination of its operations in Iran.
Noting that Turkey always obeys the decisions of the UN Security Council, Davutoglu said Turkey was not obliged to abide by any unilateral decisions. “Iran is an important neighbor of ours and we have important trade and energy connections.”
Unilateral decisions are not legally binding, but companies will make the final decision in terms of their own interests, he said. “We’d do anything we can to protect the interests of our companies; however, companies have their own volition in their decisions.”
(Source: Hürriyet Daily News)