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Turkey Looks for Ways Around the U.S. Sanctions on Iran

MIN READAug 29, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

In this November 2013 file photo, Turkey's former energy minister, Taner Yildiz, is shown speaking in Ankara after Turkey refused to lower its oil imports from Iran despite U.S. sanctions.

Turkey's former energy minister, Taner Yildiz, speaks in Ankara in 2013 after Turkey refused to lower its oil imports from Iran despite U.S. sanctions. The Turkish government has said it will try to increase its trade with Iran despite new U.S. sanctions on Tehran set to take effect in November.

(ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. government is rolling out its toughest sanctions yet on Iran to try to pressure Tehran to change its behavior. In the process, it's forcing the countries that do business with the Islamic republic to make a tough choice: Fall in line with the United States or continue trading with Iran. The dilemma is especially difficult for Turkey, which, despite a centurieslong rivalry with Iran, depends on the country for much of its oil and natural gas needs. Ankara recently announced that it would try to increase its trade with Iran from $10 billion per year in 2017 to $30 billion per year, notwithstanding the wave of new sanctions on Tehran set to take effect in November. Turkey's financial problems, however, will limit the extent to which its government can push back against Washington....

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