Turkey’s president criticizes US sanctions on Iran

December 20, 2018
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, left, shake hands prior to their talks at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. The men are expected to co-chair the 5th Turkey-Iran High Level Cooperation Council meeting.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president has again criticized U.S. sanctions on Iran and vowed to continue to cooperate with Tehran.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the comments on Thursday at a joint news conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Erdogan says Turkey aims to increase bilateral trade with Iran to $30 billion from the current $11 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers in May and re-imposed sanctions. Turkey was among U.S. allies allowed to continue purchasing Iranian oil as long as they work to reduce imports.

Erdogan said: “The U.S. (sanctions) put regional safety and stability into danger and we do not support them.”

He added: “We will continue to stand by the brotherly Iranian people.”

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