A Turkish test on Iran sanctions?


Recently passed U.S. sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank allow President Obama a degree of leeway in their application. Now, Turkey is reportedly about to put the president on the spot.

Reuters reports:

Turkey will seek a waiver from the United States to exempt its biggest refiner Tupras from new U.S. sanctions on institutions that deal with Iran’s central bank, a Turkish energy ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday.

…the [sanctions] law allows Obama to issue waivers to firms in countries that significantly reduce dealings with Iran, or at any time when it is either in the U.S. national interest or necessary for energy market stability.

U.S. officials have said they will discuss with allies how to implement the law without causing havoc in oil markets.

U.S. ally Turkey gets about 30 percent of its oil from neighbour Iran, and Tupras – Turkey’s biggest crude oil importer, owned by its largest conglomerate, Koc Holding – is a big buyer of Iranian crude.

Writing at Commentary, conservative Mideast pundit Michael Rubin says this is a “moment of truth” regarding the administration’s seriousness on Iran sanctions.

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