GOLD TRADING between Turkey and Iran will not be "bound" by US requests to comply with its sanctions against Tehran, the economy minister in Ankara has said.
Suspected of enabling Iran to sell natural gas oil and sidestep international sanctions over its nuclear program, trading gold with its neighbor has also been cited as keeping Turkey's economy out recession over the last year.
Ahead of July's expiry of a 6-month waiver from the sanctions, "We will continue to make our gold exports this year to whoever seeks them," economy minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters in Ankara this week in Ankara.
"We have no restrictions and are not bound by restrictions imposed by others," he is quoted by Reuters.
While the state-owned Halkbank will continue to trade with Iran however, other banks are ceasing such activities, Caglayan said.
The US State Department escalated talks with Ankara over the matter in late 2012.
"Turkey is doing whatever is required by international obligations," Caglayan went on. "The companies of those imposing an embargo on Iran today, forbidding product exports to Iran, are exporting to Iran under different guises."