5 January 2013
Tüpraş, Turkeys leading oil refiner and crude exporter, has asked the state-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) to keep data on crude imports from Iran secret due to the U.S. embargo on the Iranian fuel trade, Reuters claimed yesterday from an anonymous source.
TÜİK stopped revealing Iranian trade data toward the end of December 2012, the source told Reuters, who reportedly could not contact Tüpraş executives and received no comment from TÜİK.
The U.S. administration is trying to stop Irans allegedly military nuclear program by hardening the embargo on the Islamic Republic, while Iran maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Turkey decreased its oil imports from Iran by 20 percent last year in order to benefit from a U.S. waiver on the sanctions, and the decline worked.
Turkish officials insist that it was not easy to cut fuel imports from Iran due to a high demand for energy. Turkeys natural gas imports from Iran are also a matter of discussion. Turkey is buying gas from Tehran and de facto paying in gold, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said.
Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said Jan. 4 that Turkey sold $6.5 billion worth of gold to Iran in the first 11 months of last year, in addition to another $4.2 billion to the United Arab Emirates, from where the gold reportedly goes to Iran also. It is not right that we are using gold as a payment tool to Iran because we are not selling gold to the Iranian Republic as the Turkish Republic. It is not a state-to-state trade, Çağlayan said.