UPDATE – Turkey to US: Iran embargoes are 'wrong'


By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Ankara will continue telling the U.S. that imposing embargoes on Iran is “wrong “, Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkish ministers had clearly conveyed their concerns about the sanctions during a recent visit to Washington.

“We will continue telling the U.S. that the embargoes [on Iran] are wrong, ” Cavusoglu said.

The U.S. unleashed tough sanctions on Iran last November that hit core parts of the country’s economy, including oil exports, shipping and banks.

He underlined the importance of the solidarity and decisiveness between Iran and Turkey on the issue.

Cavusoglu also criticized the U.S. decision to put Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps on its terror list.

“This is an extremely wrong decision, ” he said, adding that the listing foreign national armies as terror groups would lead to “dire ” cracks in the international system and international law order.

“Then, trust in the global system will suffer and there would be total chaos, ” he added, urging caution.

In an unprecedented move, U.S. President Donald Trump on April 8 said he would formally designate the force a “terrorist organization “.

The U.S. move is the first time a government agency has been blacklisted a terrorist body, though parts of the guard had previously been designated, namely its elite external operations wing, the Quds Force.

Cavusoglu also said Washington’s decision to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, was against international law and would only increase tension in the region.

“We do not and will not recognize these kinds of decisions, ” he added.

  • Iran to submit report to Erdogan about Syria

For his part, Zarif said he on Tuesday had a “long ” meeting with Syria's Bashar al-Assad and that he would share its details with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“I will submit a report about this talk to Mr. Erdogan, ” Zarif added.

He stressed that Tehran understood Turkey’s concerns about the threats posed against the country.

“For us, the Turkish people's peace and security is very important. We enjoy very thorough cooperation on this issue, ” Zarif added.

Later, Erdogan received Zarif at the presidential complex where they had a closed-door meeting lasting over one hour.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.