Turkey has started purchasing nearly one million tons of crude oil form Libya after reducing imports of Iranian crude as it seeks to comply with U.S. demands that countries reduce their dependence on Iranian imports, according to Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.
Turkey’s sole oil refiner Tupras agreed the deal with Libya and has started talks with Saudi Arabia for a long-term contract, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said according to Reuters.
The move comes after the United States said on Monday it would exempt seven will exempt Turkey, India and five other economies from financial sanctions in return for significantly cutting purchases of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.
Turkey has been importing a third of its oil from Iran while in late March, oil refiner Tupras said it had cut its purchases from Iran by 20 percent as the West tightened sanctions on Tehran due to its controversial nuclear program, according to AFP.
Iran insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes but many Western nations fear it is trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Meanwhile, Iran has provided convincing assurances that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said March 29 after a visit to Tehran while also accusing the West of having a double standard because it turns a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear weapons.