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Iran-Turkey energy deal fails

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Iran and Turkey failed to sign a major gas and oil deal, reportedly because of tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

A meeting Thursday between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish President Abdullah Gul ended without wrapping up the anticipated $3.5 billion deal for Turkish investment in Iran’s energy sector, Reuters reported.

The news agency quoted analysts as saying that tough U.S. sanctions targeting companies that deal with Iran’s energy sector were likely behind the collapse of the deal, which included a plan to export Iranian gas to Europe through Turkey. Signing the deal would have cut major Turkish companies out of U.S. business, under the sanctions, which are aimed at getting Iran to end its suspected nuclear program.

The meeting between the presidents had been criticized by Israeli and Western officials.

Separately Thursday, the International Monetary Fund published a report Thursday saying that U.S. and international sanctions have hit Iran’s banking sector hard.

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