Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara has not yet made any decision on cutting oil imports from Iran despite US pressure to hinder the Tehran - Ankara energy cooperation.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Friday, the Turkish premier said the level of oil imports from Iran depends on his country ' s energy demand. The United States granted 180 - day waivers on Iran oil sanctions to Turkey for the second time on December 7,2012 after Ankara made initial cuts to its Iran oil imports.
“On crude oil, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of oil we import from Iran …As to whether we would cut back any further, it will depend on our need. Time will tell, " Erdogan added.
Shipping data on May 3 showed that Turkey raised its crude oil imports from Iran to average 140,000 barrels per day (bpd), in April hitting an eight-month high. Turkey has been importing an average of 100,000 bpd between September 2012 and February 2013, and in March increased purchases of Iranian oil to 114,000 bpd, despite US sanctions against Iran's energy sector. At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.