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Turkey refuses to halt gold flow to Iran

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Published : February 08th, 2013
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Category : GoldWire

By Asli Kandemir and Evrim Ergin
Thursday, February 7, 2013

ISTANBUL -- Turkey will not be swayed by U.S. sanctions pressure to halt gold exports to Iran but Tehran's demand for the metal may fall this year, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said today.

U.S. officials are concerned that Turkey's gold sales, which allow Iran to export natural gas, provides a financial lifeline to Tehran, which is largely frozen out of the global banking system by Western sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.

Trade in Turkish gold bars to Iran via Dubai is drying up as banks and dealers increasingly refuse to buy the bullion to avoid sanctions risks associated with the trade.

Turkey has a six-month U.S. waiver exempting it from financial sanctions against Iran, which is due to expire in July.

"We will continue to make our gold exports this year to whoever seeks them. We have no restrictions and are not bound by restrictions imposed by others," the Turkish minister told reporters.

"There may be a decline in demand for gold exports. This is nothing to do with sanctions. We are not subject to these sanctions until July anyway, but there may be a decline in demand from Iran," he said.

Caglayan declined to say why he anticipated Iranian demand might fall.

Turkey, Iran's biggest natural gas customer, has been paying the Islamic Republic for oil and gas imports with Turkish liras because sanctions prevent it from paying in dollars or euros.

Iranians then buy gold in Turkey, and couriers carry bullion worth millions of dollars in hand luggage to Dubai, where it can be sold for foreign currency or shipped to Iran.

Caglayan, who has repeatedly said that Turkey's gold trade with Iran is carried out by private firms and is not subject to U.S. sanctions, said other firms, including U.S. and European companies, were continuing their exports to Tehran.

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Chris Powell is the secretary of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) which has been organized to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities.
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I would invest in Iran developing a nuclear weapon but I would invest the double for them not ever to use it.
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