ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey, a NATO ally, will continue to buy natural gas from Iran, the country’s Energy Minister said on Wednesday in a sign of further discord with the United States despite President Donald Trump’s threat of impeding trade with anyone doing business with the Islamic Republic.
Minister Fatih Donmez cited the validity term until 2026 of a gas contract between Tehran and Ankara and the supply security.
“Annually, we receive 9.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from there. As there can be no such situation we leave our citizens in the cold and dark, this trade will go on per the contract,” Donmez told the pro-government A Haber TV.
A developing country of some 80 million people with a big appetite for energy consumption, Turkey, having no significant resources, heavily relies on foreign energy inflow from Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
The country’s gas consumption last year reached a historical record high of 53.5 billion cubic meters, of which over 52 percent was Russian, according to official figures.
Donmez, a member of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s new cabinet with roots in bureaucracy, added that US sanctions on Iran “were unilateral.”
“As a matter of fact, the European Union, too, is pretty annoyed. What we conduct is legitimate commerce. On top of that, [Turkey] has a neighborly responsibility [with Iran],” he said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had earlier denounced the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 deal between Tehran and US-led World powers to stop the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.
“Destruction of the stability of a great country like Iran and creation of chaos there is not in anybody’s favor, including the US. It is not right to act with Israel’s directives in these matters,” he told Turkish media last month.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany