Ankara: Turkey has resumed imports of crude from Iran under waivers granted by the United States to almost all Iranian oil clients after Washington re-imposed the “toughest” sanctions ever against Tehran, trading and shipping sources say.
The US administration agreed to allow Turkey and other countries to continue purchasing Iran’s crude oil in early November.
Turkey said it was permitted to import three million tonnes a year, equivalent to about 60,000 barrels per day (bpd), under the waiver.
Turkey used to import about 200,000 bpd of Iranian crude before US President Donald Trump’s move to withdraw in May 2018 from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, reached between Iran and six major powers – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany – Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Turkey had decreased its crude imports from Iran in the months prior to sanctions coming into force. Its imports fell to zero in November.
However, Turkey received two tankers carrying Iranian crude equivalent to about 54,000 bpd in December, according to a shipping and trading source familiar with the issue.
The Solan tanker delivered into the Turkish port of Aliaga while the Sea Topaz I discharged at Tutunciftlik.
According to the sources and Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking, Turkey is set to receive a cargo from Sinopa tanker in January.