Despite the Rhetoric, Turkey Stops Buying Iranian Oil
46 2019-05-23

Turkey announced its decision to stop buying Iranian oil, despite previously signaling its unwillingness to comply with the American demands.

An anonymous Turkish official told Reuters that they stopped buying Iranian oil at May, despite having the chance of taking advantage of the waivers Donald Trump‘s government provided to the main Iranian oil importers. According to analysts turkey began to cut its Iranian oil imports in March this year.

“We are not getting any oil from Iran now,” said the Turkish official. “We were one of the eight countries getting an exception from those sanctions, and now we are ready to abide by them,” he added.

Turkey apparently replaced Iranian oil with Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Russia crude supplies according to analysts. It was also recently reported that Iranian oil has not arrived in Turkish ports this month.

The Turkish official said that Turkey doesn‘t agree with the sanctions but that they respect the United States decision.

“We don’t believe in sanctions, but as a strategic ally we respect the U.S. decision," he said, adding that they don‘t believe that isolating Iran is helpful.

The Turkish largest oil refiner, Tupras, was pushing for an extension of the import waiver but after being denied decided to comply with the United States pretentions.

Despite signing a deal with Iran in 2015 that would stop Iranian nuclear pretentions, the United States decided to pull out from the deal on November last year, leaving the Persian country and other six world powers behind. After this, the U.S. decided to impose sanctions on Iran, aiming to drive its oil exports to zero and giving the main Iranian oil importers temporary waivers that ended this month.

Iranian oil exports are now at 500,000 barrels per day or lower and it‘s still not clear which countries are buying those supplies.