Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed as unjust the United States’ move to impose sanctions against Iran and threaten to further toughen them.
In a speech at the opening of the Turkish parliament on Monday, Erdogan added that excluding Iran from regional matters is wrong.
He emphasized that the US had taken the wrong path by threatening and using blackmail instead of dialogue, saying it was impossible for any country to trust Washington.
In his second address to the General Assembly in New York on September 25, US President Donald Trump promised hard-hitting sanctions against Iran and urged the world to isolate the Islamic Republic, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and sowing “chaos, death and destruction,” in the Middle East.
“We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues,” the US president said. “They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.”
Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The deal had been signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany in 2015.
The US administration reintroduced the previous sanctions while imposing new ones on the Islamic Republic. It also introduced punitive measures — known as secondary sanctions — against third countries doing business with Iran.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil sales and its Central Bank.
Erdogan further said the United States had lost credibility by engaging in trade wars globally.
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Turkey will secure east of Euphrates in Syria: Erdogan
Elsewhere in his speech, Erdogan said his country seeks to secure control of the region of northern Syria east of the Euphrates River, removing Kurdish militants, known as the YPG, from the area.
He added that Turkey also aims to clear Iraq’s northwestern Sinjar region and northern city of Qandil of Kurdish militants.
Turkey started operation Olive Branch in Syria in late January with an alleged aim of pushing back Kurdish militants, known as the YPG, from the city of Afrin and surrounding areas. The Turkish military finally captured Afrin’s central neighborhood after more than two months of fighting, which inflicted relatively heavy losses on its ranks.
Syria, as well as the United States and several European countries who support the Kurds, have criticized the operation. Turkey, however, has vowed to press ahead with attacks on positions of the YPG, which it sees as an arm of the outlawed militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at home, until the entire territories west of the Euphrates River and Turkey’s border in the south are secured.
The Turkish president said in June that his country is also ready to attack northern Iraq if the Iraqi central government does not take action against Kurdish militant groups there.
Erdogan said Turkey may strike the Iraqi city of Qandil, “at any moment one evening” and added that a military action would go on to include Sinjar and Makhmur as well.
Addressing members of his ruling AK party in Ankara in April, the Turkish president rejected calls for his country to stop a controversial military operation in Syria, saying the fight would continue as part of Ankara’s broader crackdown on Kurdish militants.
“We will continue to do what is necessary for our nation’s tranquility. We will also do what is necessary in the northern part of Syria,” said Erdogan.
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