America signals savvy attitude to Turkey on Iran sanctions
From the National Security Council to the Treasury, positive signals are coming from the American administration on the new phase of sanctions on Iran to start on Monday. Some exceptions will be applied to Turkey, a new and important development. The most striking statement on the subject came from the National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who was the most hawkish in the administration in favor of Iranian sanctions. “Sanctions are against Iran,” he said, intimating Turkey without giving a name: “We do not want any of our allies to to be damaged.” State Department deputy spokesperson, Robert J. Palladino, added: “We do not expect some countries to come to zero at all in terms of oil.” No one says openly that there will be exceptions for Turkey because they know that this would be a problem for other Western countries who want an exception for themselves. However, the impression I get from the statements made and from the officials I spoke to, there is a significant softening at the American administration toward Turkey’s position. It is said that this softening is supported by Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mattis outside the White House in Washington. It is stated in Washington that Turkey will get what it wants at this stage of Iran sanctions even though it will not be official. “If Turkey uses and implements this new understanding in accordance with the spirit of the relations between the two countries, bilateral relations in 2019 can be expected to be very positive,” officials in Washington say.