Turkey's growing ties with Iran angers Washington
Tehran: Turkey's growing ties with Iran has
angered the United States so much that Washington officials have warned Ankara they could take punitive actions if the Iranian neighbor continues to expand ties and cooperation with Tehran.
Ankara's growing ties with Tehran recently prompted
Washington to dispatch senior US Treasury official Roger Cohen
to Ankara, who said as trade increases and financial ties
expand, it runs counter to the United States' desire to
constrain Iran and to ensure the choice that has been put to
the Iranian leadership between continued defiance and
integration with the western policies, is as sharp as
Over the past several years Iran and Turkey have in
increased their cooperation in many economic fields, including
energy, security, trade, education and culture.
Turkish politician Volkan Bozkir, who heads Parliament's
foreign affairs committee, rejected the US threats, commenting, "Countries should be careful in warning Turkey
(that) it's not the country of 10 years ago. Is there any rule
in the world that the US can impose any sanctions without any
UN support or legal institutions? It's only the UN which can
impose sanctions. We will abide by the UN sanctions."
The Obama administration has reportedly warned Turkish
banks operating in the US that they could face prosecution if
they violate either US or UN sanctions imposed by Iran.
According to a Turkish diplomatic source speaking on condition
of anonymity, at least one Turkish bank is currently under
investigation by the US government.