Turkey has sharply increased its crude oil imports from Iran, dismissing the US-led oil embargo on the Islamic Republic, data shows.
Turkey’s oil imports from Iran topped 270,000 bpd in March. The figure is almost triple the 100,000 bpd, or 401,349 tons, which Turkey imported in February. Statistics on the Turkish Statistical Institute website indicate that the country imported 1.174 million tons of Iranian crude in March, representing the highest monthly purchase of Iranian crude by Turkey since July 2011, Hurriyet Daily News wrote.
The data reflects that Turkey’s crude imports from Iran jumped by some 90 percent in comparison to the corresponding period last year.
Iran accounted for 193,000 bpd, (2.44 million tons) or more than half of the 350,000 bpd (4.416 million tons) of crude Turkey imported in the first three months of 2012, the report added.
Trade between Iran and Turkey has increased over the past decade. The country seeks a waiver from US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US and EU imposed tough financial and oil sanctions against Iran in the beginning of 2012 in a bid to pile up pressure on Tehran over its nuclear energy program.
The Western powers and Israel claim Iran is seeking to acquire military nuclear capability.
On March 20, the US announced that it would exempt 10 European countries and Japan from penalties for doing business with Iran’s central bank.
The most important countries not included on the exemption list are China, India, South Korea, and Turkey.
Iran has repeatedly refuted the Western allegations regarding its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.