Erdogan says Turkey will ignore 'destabilising' US sanctions on Iran
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed the United States' reimposition of economic sanctions on Iran, vowing not to abide by the new measures.
The reimposed sanctions came into effect on Monday and target buyers of Iranian oil.
"US sanctions on Iran are wrong, for us they are steps aimed at unbalancing the world, we don't want to live in an imperialist world," Erdogan told reporters following an address to Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in Ankara.
The president added that Turkey currently imports some 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Iran.
US President Donald Trump has described the latest sanctions as the "toughest yet" on the Islamic Republic. The move follows Washington's withdrawal from a landmark nuclear accord signed in 2015 which granted Iran sanctions relief in return for limiting the enrichment of uranium.
Iran has insisted that it has abided by the accord, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) having verified 12 times that Tehran has not broken the terms of the nuclear deal.
EU leaders, who had attempted to salvage the 2015 accord, have condemned the sanctions on Tehran.
The US hopes to significantly reduce Iran's oil exports - which have already fallen by around one million barrels a day since May - and cut it off from international finance.
Turkey is a NATO ally of the US but also a key trading partner with its neighbour Iran.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that the US' "unilateral" measure affects the world, including Turkey, one-third of whose gas imports come from Iran, he said.
"I think instead of sanctions, meaningful dialogue and engagement is much useful and this is our principle," he said.