Turkey is the only European country purchasing crude oil from Iran even after the United States gave other countries exemptions from an embargo, said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.
Two other European countries were also given waivers but haven’t taken up their options, Zanganeh said, according to ISNA news agency.
“Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by the United States, but they don’t buy Iranian oil and they don’t respond to our questions,” he said.
The United States gave the three nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, exemptions from the new sanctions against Tehran, which allow them to continue buying Iranian crude oil in more limited amounts.
Turkey and Iran enjoy close economic and political relations. For example, Turkey buys large amounts of Iranian natural gas and joined forces with Iran and Russia to map out a political solution to the war in neighbouring Syria.
“No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey,” Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
Zanganeh said the U.S. sanctions on Iran were more difficult than the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, but said Tehran will not allow the United States to reduce its oil exports to zero.