ANKARA (Dispatches) – A senior Iranian official here on Friday deliver President Hassan Rouhani’s letter to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following U.S. reimposition of unilateral sanctions on Tehran.
Rouhani’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi underlined the Islamic Republic’s determination to resist the sanctions and make the U.S. regret its decision.
The Turkish president expressed delight at receiving President Rouhani’s letter and underlined Ankara’s resolve to continue cooperation with Iran.
Turkey, he said, is interested in exploring ways to expand bilateral relations with Iran and remove any possible obstacles on the way.
Vaezi also met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and explored ways to further expansion of bilateral relations in all fields.
In a post on his Twitter account after the meeting, the Turkish top diplomat said he and the Iranian officials discussed current issues in their relations.
"We discussed the issues on the common agenda of Turkey-Iran with Mahmoud Vaezi, head of the Office of the Iranian President,” the Turkish foreign minister wrote.
Cavusoglu said his country is resolved to expand ties with Iran despite U.S. threats to punish governments that violate recently-restored economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
"Time and again we have made it clear that we will not implement U.S. sanctions against Iran,” he said.
Cavusoglu hailed Iran’s decision to stay in the deal after Trump’s pullout.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dinmez said Wednesday that Ankara would continue to buy gas from Iran under a long-term supply deal between the two neighbors.
The minister said he was going to raise the issue of "unilateral” sanctions and their effect on Turkey’s energy imports with American officials in upcoming talks in Washington.
"We adopted the United Nations sanctions on Iran in the past. Even the European Union is extremely annoyed by today’s situation. We are conducting legitimate trade here, which is of great importance in terms of supply security,” he said.
Turkey imports almost all of its energy needs and Iran is one of the biggest suppliers of natural gas and oil to the country.
Upon his arrival in Ankara, Vaezi said his visit was aimed at congratulating Turkish President Erdogan on his victory in recent presidential election in Turkey.