Saturday, July 31, 2004

ZAMAN DAILY: US Suffers Loss in Economic War against Iran

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2004073111025): "US Denies Erdogan's Iran Visit Disturbed Washington

US Ankara Embassy Chargé D'affairs Robert S. Deutsch said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Iran did not bother America.

Deutsch indicated yesterday that he believes Erdogan conveyed the issues that the US is most sensitive about to Iranian officials.

On his way back home, Erdogan said: "We have not received an official statement from the US yet. All we know is what we read or see in the media."

During a press conference in Iran Erdogan replied to a question about America's disturbance, saying that Turkey would continue its policy of good relations with it neighbors. Erdogan did not deny the claim that Washington was disturbed by the visit. A newspaper report run prior to Erdogan's trip indicates that Turkey's natural gas agreement with Iran created some uneasiness in Washington. Diplomatic sources confirmed the claim.

Erdogan reminded that many countries continue to make investments in Iran. "Turkey has just as much right to make investments with neighboring countries as they do," he declared.

US Ankara Embassy Chargé D'affairs Robert S.Deutsch replied to Zaman's questions during his visit to the Adana Consulate. He denied the claim that Erdogan's visit disturbed the US. He said that Washington's opinions on Iran are well known. Deutsch reminded that Iran's support of terrorism, efforts to secretly produce nuclear weapons and policies against Middle Eastern peace bother America.

"The US took some measures concerning this and has applied embargoes on Iran and Libya since 1991. These embargos are applied to companies making investments in the oil industry. The US Congress does not want international firms to engage in commercial relations over 20 million dollars with Iranian companies."

The American diplomat added that they wanted Turkey's commercial relations to refrain from contributing to the strengthening of Iran's oil industry. "


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