Iran, Turkey Discuss Increasing Trade Possibilities

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkish and Iranian officials have met for a third day in Tehran to strengthen economic links. The talks come amid concerns from the Obama administration that Iran could try to exploit trade ties with Turkey to avoid international sanctions.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned after he met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu this week against what he called the plots of foreigners in interfering in Mideast unrest.

Mr. Ahmadinejad commented on his presidential website Tuesday, a day after meeting with the Turkish leader.

Tehran and Ankara have recently stepped up talks on trade.

In April, a senior U.S. treasury official warned Turkish officials and banking sector leaders against dealing with blacklisted Iranian companies.

Turkey has pledged to abide by United Nations resolutions on Iranian sanctions but remains eager to develop energy and other business deals with Iran. The sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to give up what Western countries believe is a secret nuclear weapons development program.

Turkey's semi-official Anatolia news agency says the unrest in Syria was also discussed during the Tehran talks. Foreign powers and rights groups have criticized Damascus for its deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

Both Iran and Turkey have strong ties with Syria's government.