Saturday, August 07, 2004

U.S. ORDERS TURKEY NOT TO MAKE IRAN DEAL

Middle East Newsline -: "U.S. WARNS TURKEY AGAINST IRAN DEAL


ANKARA [MENL] -- The United States has warned Turkey against transporting Iranian natural gas to Western Europe.

Turkish sources said the Bush administration has warned Ankara that any energy deal with Teheran worth more than $20 million would trigger U.S. sanctions against Ankara. The sources said the administration was careful not to make its warning public.

The U.S. warning was said to have been relayed in July on the eve of a summit between Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and Iranian leaders in Teheran. The sources said Washington did not disapprove of Iranian gas supplies to Turkey under a 1996 accord, which took place before the formal launch of Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

Erdogan defended his efforts to forge an energy pact with Teheran, saying this was required for Turkish and regional stability. In the end, Ankara and Teheran could not agree over the price for the Turkish transport of Iranian gas to Europe."

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