The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman says Ankara will take every initiative to protect its firms against new US sanctions.
Hami Aksoy made the comments at a news conference on Friday, a day after the United States imposed new sanctions against nine Iranian and Turkish individuals and companies as well as a number of aircraft providing goods and services to four Iranian airlines in a move aimed at targeting Iranian airlines.
The Treasury Department claimed in a statement that Caspian Airlines and Pouya Air had ferried weapons, troops and money to Iran’s allies in Syria and Lebanon and threatened to levy sanctions against the entities which grant landing rights and provide services to their aircraft.
The latest anti-Iran sanctions came after US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement. Tehran wants the Europeans to give it clear-cut guarantees about fulfilling their obligations if it remains in the accord.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday US enmity toward Iran is deep but all American plots against the country have failed since the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
During a meeting with heads of the three branches of the Iranian government as well as officials in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to what he called “the fundamental, deep and constant enmity” of the United States toward the Islamic Republic and said Iran would definitely defeat the US if Iranian officials fulfill their duty.
Elsewhere in the presser, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that his country had fulfilled all requirements to obtain Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jets from the United States.
Aksoy added that Ankara expected all sides to carry out their responsibilities.
Turkey intends to purchase more than 100 F-35 jet fighters, and has had talks with US officials about the likely purchase of Patriot anti-air missiles as well.
A US Senate committee on Thursday passed its version of the $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bars the sale of advanced F-35 warplanes to NATO partner Turkey, faulting Ankara for its purchase of an air defense system from Russia.
The bill removed Turkey from the F-35 program over its S-400 purchase from Russia as well as imprisonment of an American Christian pastor in Turkey on spying and terrorism charges.
The US House of Representatives passed its version of the bill earlier on Thursday, but the Senate must also pass its own version of the bill before engaging to reconcile the two versions to come up with a final compromise legislation for a vote in both houses of the Congress later this year.
Turkey has said the S-400 system would boost its defense capabilities in the face of threats from Kurdish and Daesh-linked militants as well as conflicts across its borders in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
Ankara has also vowed to take retaliatory measures in case Washington enacts a law blocking weapons sales to Turkey, a key partner in the US-led NATO military alliance.