Turkey seeks to improve trade ties with Iran, slams U.S. sanctions

Turkey slammed the U.S. sanctions on Iran, seeking to set up new mechanisms to improve bilateral trade ties, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Cavusoglu said the U.S. decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization is a dangerous move that could lead to chaos in the region.

Turkey has conveyed clearly its concern to U.S. officials in all platforms, he said, referring to Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak’s visit to Washington, where he met with U.S. President Donald Trump and top U.S. officials.

Ankara and Teheran will keep working to establish new mechanisms in order to raise bilateral trade to a target of 30 billion U.S. dollars, around triple the current level, the minister stressed.

Zarif arrived in Ankara one day after his visit on Syria, where he met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ahead of a fresh round of talks to be held next week in Kazakhstan.

Zarif said he will give a report to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his meeting with Syria’s leader in Damascus.

“I have had a ‘long’ meeting with President Assad in Syria,” Zarif said, adding that Iran wants to help Ankara and Damascus establish “good relations.”