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Turkey: No plans to honor Iranian embargo

March 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM

KUWAIT CITY, March 14 (UPI) -- Turkey has no plans to stop importing crude oil from Iran because pending European sanctions don't apply to Ankara, a Turkish official said from Kuwait.

Iran pre-empted its European counterparts by blocking crude oil deliveries to the United Kingdom and France after the European Union called for an embargo by July 1.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz told European officials on the sidelines of an international energy conference in Kuwait that Ankara has no plans to stop importing oil from Iran, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

Both sides, the news agency adds, have "many important energy projects" planned.

Yildiz said in February that Western sanctions don't apply to Turkey.

"Since Turkey is not an EU member, the EU's decisions are not legally binding for us. Turkey can say the same about the decisions of the United States," he was quoted by Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman as saying.

Turkey imports about 200,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran. That represents about 30 percent of the Turkish daily consumption.

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