By Merve Aydogan
Iran is an important neighbor to Turkey amid the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on the country, Turkish diplomatic sources said Friday.
"Iran is an important neighbor for Turkey, in view of both our bilateral economic and commercial relations as well as our energy imports," said Foreign Ministry sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
On U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- the Iran deal’s official name -- and that sanctions on Iran would be re-imposed, the sources said: "Following the U.S. decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, the upcoming sanctions on Iran carry importance for Turkey."
In July 2015, the P5+1 group of countries -- the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany -- signed the JCPOA with Iran.
Under the deal, world powers agreed to lift some economic sanctions on Iran in return for the latter agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian purposes. But on May 8, Trump announced that the U.S. was unilaterally withdrawing.
"Our relevant authorities are carrying out necessary work for Turkey to avoid any negative impact from the upcoming sanctions. In this regard, we are holding consultations with our American counterparts," said the source.
"Within this framework, we had discussions with a U.S. delegation visiting Turkey on July 20."
"Iran is an important neighbor for Turkey, in view of both our bilateral economic and commercial relations as well as our energy imports. Therefore, we will continue to monitor US sanctions within this framework," the source added.