November 6, 2018 - 9:51 AM EST
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Turkish president said Trump's sanctions on Iran are 'aimed at unbalancing the world'

Nov. 6 (UPI) --

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted the Trump administration's sanctions on Iran Tuesday, saying they will unbalance the world.

The United States stepped up sanctions on Iran Monday that isolate the country's banking system and nearly eliminate oil exports. The goal is to coerce Iran's leaders to negotiate a new nuclear treaty.

Turkey received a waiver to continue buying Iranian crude oil without consequences. Turkey will also continue importing natural gas from Iran.

U.S. sanctions on Iran are wrong. For us, they are steps aimed at unbalancing the world; we don't want to live in an imperialist world, Erdogan said.

The sanctions blacklisted 700 Iranian individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels, including 50 banks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Iran has a choice to do a 180-degree turn and act like a normal country or watch its economy crumble.

At the center of it is an unprecedented campaign of economic pressure, Pompeo said. Our objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East and, indeed, throughout the world, Pompeo said. We will be relentless in exerting pressure on the regime.

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned U.S. leaders that isolating that country would be dangerous. He encouraged the countries to have a meaningful dialogue instead of using sanctions.

While we were asking [for] an exemption from the United States, we have also been very frank with them that corning Iran is not wise, Cavusoglu said. Isolating Iran is dangerous and punishing the Iranian people is not fair.

Other countries that received the 180-day waiver include China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

The waivers calmed fears that crude oil prices would skyrocket after the sanctions choked Iran's oil exports. So far, oil prices have been kept in check, with WTI crude oil trading at $63 and Brent crude at $73 in early Tuesday morning trading. They did go up about 1 percent Monday.

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority estimates that 20 percent of Turkey's natural gas imports come from Iran.

Erdogan also addressed the U.S. patrols through northeastern Syria that started Monday. Turkey started shelling terrorist positions in the region last week.

It is impossible that we accept these [patrols]. Furthermore, such a situation would lead to serious negativity along the borders, Erdogan said.

Source: United Press International (November 6, 2018 - 9:51 AM EST)

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