Biden pushes Turkey to impose Iran sanctions

Published Friday, December 2, 2011

US Vice President Joe Biden urged Turkey to slap sanctions on Iran over its nuclear ambitions in a visit to America's key regional ally on Friday.

Turkey has recently deepened financial and economic ties with neighboring Iran as the West continues to try and isolate the Islamic republic with sanctions.

"We continue to support a diplomatic solution to our concerns with Iran...we also believe that putting pressure on Iran's leadership is necessary to secure a negotiated settlement, and that is why we encourage our partners, including Turkey, to take steps to impose new sanctions on Iran, as we have continued to do," Biden told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

While Turkey must abide with UN sanctions, that it voted against, Ankara has stated that it is not obliged to follow non-UN sanctions.

The US is leading a campaign of sanctions against Iran and last week announced it was joining Britain and Canada in sweeping new sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors.

Meanwhile, the EU Thursday added 180 individuals and companies to its sanctions list on Iran and announced it was in the process of drawing plans for an oil embargo.

The move comes after EU ministers were given responses to a report issued by the UN nuclear watchdog that stated Iran has furthered the “"development of a nuclear device".

Iran condemned the report as "lousy intelligence," while Russia criticized it as "politically motivated."

Oil prices rose to US$109 per barrel after the EU's announcement on Friday.

(al-Akhbar, Reuters)

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