US indictment against former minister in Iran embargo probe

political, step against Turkey: Erdoğan

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US indictment against former minister in Iran embargo probe

#1  Postby aliihsanasl » Sep 08, 2017 8:01 pm

US indictment against former minister in Iran embargo probe political, step against Turkey: Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed there are “malicious intentions” behind a new indictment filed by a U.S. prosecutor against former Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and three others accused of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“I deem this step taken against our former Economy Minister as a step taken against the state of the Turkish Republic,” Erdoğan told reporters before leaving Istanbul for Kazakhstan on Sept. 8.

“It seems suspicious. The [case about] Reza Zarrab is like that, the issue about the deputy general of our Halkbank, Mr. Hakan [Aslan], is like that. All the other names are like that,” he added.

His comments came after U.S. prosecutors broadened an investigation into Turkish-Iranian millionaire Reza Zarrab, filing a new indictment charging Çağlayan, former Halkbank general manager Hakan Aslan and other two with “conspiring to use the U.S. financial system to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of transactions on behalf of the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities, which were barred by United States sanctions.”

They are also accused of lying to U.S. government officials about the transactions, laundering funds and defrauding several financial institutions by concealing the true nature of the transactions.

Zarrab has been the main suspect in the case, accused of allegedly using a network of companies to launder money for Iran.

When asked about the case, Erdoğan said the decision “was totally political,” adding that Turkey has not implemented such sanctions against Iran and the two countries have been maintaining “delicate bilateral relations.”

“They say that he has violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. As Turkey, we haven’t taken any decisions to implement sanctions against Iran. We have relations with Iran; we have delicate relations. We purchase some of our natural gas and petrol from Iran. We have told them [the U.S.] that before. I have told Mr. [former U.S. President Barack] Obama that we will not implement such sanctions,” Erdoğan said.
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