Turkey's energy minister said Wednesday negotiations were under way to earn waivers from U.S. sanctions on crude oil imports from neighboring Iran.
"Currently talks are being conducted at the level of companies," Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
The Obama administration on Tuesday exempted 10 European Union countries and Japan from U.S. economic sanctions, praising them for reducing dependency on oil from the Islamic republic.
But Turkey, which depends on natural gas and oil imports from Iran, was not placed on the list of countries granted exemption by Washington.
"The fact that Turkey is not on the list does not mean that it will never be there," Yildiz said.
While Washington and Brussels are ardent supporters of sanctions to force Iran to abandon its contested nuclear program, Turkey believes tough measures will backfire and instead backs engagement and diplomacy.
Turkish officials have refused to join the latest U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran, which include a ban on oil imports, and are only bound by U.N. Security Council measures.
One fifth of Turkey's natural gas and one third of its oil comes from Iran, according to non-profit organization the International Crisis Group.
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