By Payman Yazdani

Impossible to drive Iran’s oil export to zero: Turkish politician

May 1, 2019

TEHRAN - Condemning the U.S. move to force Turkey to buy oil from Saudi Arabia and UAE instead of Iran, Faruk logoglu says the U.S. move is flagrant violation of international law and his sovereign right of nations to trade freely.

In continuation of the U.S. hostile policies against the Iranian nation, the White House recently announced that it has decided not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil after they expire in May. The statement went on to say that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to ensure that the global market will have sufficient oil supply following Washington's decision to terminate sanctions waivers for countries importing Iranian oil.

To know more about the issue we reached out to Dr. Osman Faruk Logoglu, a senior member of Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP). Following is the full text of our interview with him:

Q: Are the U.S. moves to slap unilateral sanctions against Iran and not extending waivers for Iran’s oil importers in compliance with international law and regulations?

A: The U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil exports are in flagrant violation of international law and regulations as they transgress the sovereign right of nations to trade freely.  The sanctions are illegal also because they have been imposed unilaterally without a mandate from the UN Security Council or by any other authorized body.  The U.S. is certainly entitled not to import Iranian oil or goods itself but has no right to prevent others from engaging in what is legal and proper.  

Q: The U.S. is making efforts to drive the export of Iranian oil to zero. Is it possible? If no, why?

A: The U.S. effort to drive Iranian oil exports to zero is not possible.  There will certainly be buyers of Iranian oil who will not comply with U.S. sanctions.  China has already declared that its trade with Iran is legal and normal.  Turkey has also taken a stance against the U.S. move. Foreign Minister Çavusoglu stated that the U.S. decision will not serve regional peace and stability, yet harm the Iranian people and added that Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors.  Iran's exports might be curtailed for some time to come in the near future, but over time the volume of its exports could/should rise.  We should expect adverse reactions to the U.S. decision to grow in time and this could also help Iran to sell more of its oil.

Q: The U.S. is forcing Turkey to stop buying oil from Iran and replace Saudi and Emeriti oil instead of Iranian oil. What are the advantages of Iranian oil for Turkey?

A: Iran is our neighbor.  We have a broad range of economic relations. Oil is one major element in the nexus of our ties with Iran.  The physical proximity is also an important asset as far as Iranian oil is concerned.   Given the state of our problematic relations with both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, there is no incentive for Turkey to buy oil from them.   

Q: Considering the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and UAE from one side with Turkey and their differences, Can’t U.S. request threaten Turkey’s energy security and maybe consequently it national security due to the fact the UAE is one of the supporters of the PKK terrorist separatist group?

A: Even if Turkey reduces its Iranian oil imports and starts to look for other sources, the alternative for Turkey will be neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE.  Current conditions will not allow Turkey to turn in that direction.  In any case, the U.S. is not in a position to ask Turkey where it is to buy its oil from.

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