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Turkish Leader Vows Not To Honor U.S. Sanctions On Iran After Waiver Expires

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey will not honor renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries when waivers granted by Washington expire in six months.

"These are steps aimed at unbalancing the world. We don't want to live in an imperialist world," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara on November 6.

"We will absolutely not abide by such sanctions. We buy 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas. We cannot freeze our people in the cold," he said.

Washington reimposed the sanctions on November 5 after abandoning Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

Erdogan suggested he would discuss the matter when he meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at a summit to commemorate the end of World War I in Paris over the weekend.

Turkey was one of several major Iranian oil customers that was granted a temporary waiver from the sanctions, enabling it to continue buying Iranian crude for another six months.

NATO member Turkey depends heavily on imports to meet its energy needs and neighboring Iran has long been one of its main suppliers of oil and natural gas.

Speaking in Japan earlier on November 6, Turkey's foreign minister said it would be dangerous to isolate Iran and it was not easy for countries like Turkey and Japan to find other suppliers for their fuel needs.

"We do not believe any result can be reached with sanctions. I think meaningful dialogue and talks are more useful than sanctions," Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

The United States is hitting Iran's economy with sanctions to try to force Tehran to further curb its nuclear activities and stop supporting allied militant groups in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters