Banks continue to deal in gold in Turkey despite U.S. pressure on the booming trade in the precious metal for Iranian gas that will help Tehran to face international sanctions. And Turkey’s gold exports jumped to Iran to 6.5 billion dollars in the first eleven months of 2012, compared with only $ 54 million in 2011 in conjunction with the entire tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Turkey is the largest buyer of natural gas from Iran, but Western sanctions prevent them from paying for their purchases in dollars or euros resorting to pay the Turkish lira, which have limited value in the international markets, but perfect currency to buy gold in Turkey.
Although these shipments are not contrary to Western sanctions list but they have helped Tehran to manage its finances despite withheld from the global banking system.
The U.S. State Department in December that U.S. diplomats were in talks with Ankara on the flow of the Turkish gold to Iran after the U.S. Senate passed the expanded sanctions on trade with global energy and shipping sectors Iranians in November would also restrict trade in precious metals. The senior U.S. official said at the time that the new sanctions which have not yet entered into force will stop the “gold game against the Turkish gas.” And senior foreign banker said, speaking from his bank activity in the gold trade in Turkey: continue to work as usual. He added: always be careful in our dealings we if quite skeptical about the source of the money or the identity of the client, but we did not face any additional ban on gold transactions.
He said Turkish Economy Minister Zafar Caglayan earlier that gold sales to Tehran will continue and that the private sector is alone in this trade and it does not fall under the sanctions.
In the same context, a senior banker said in the Turkish bank: Iran does not implement its trade in gold through the Turkish banking system .. The private sector is the one who sells the gold for Iran. Not facing any pressure on this issue.