Turkey thumbs nose at U.S. sanctions
When I say that Turkey is openly defying U.S. sanctions, I don't mean it in one particular way.
I mean that Turkey is defying U.S. sanctions in four different ways.
It appears that Turkey is intentionally antagonizing Washington. As if they are daring Washington to do something about it.
The Trump administration has made it “very clear” that Turkey will face consequences if it goes through with the purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system that is expected to be delivered to Ankara within days, a top State Department official said Wednesday.
#2 Russian gas
Opponents of Nord Stream 2 claim that it will make Europe more dependent on Russian gas, but while the same argument could be made against Turkish Stream, little has been said about the latter as most of the pipeline runs through Turkey, which is not an European Union (EU) member and so the EU has no leverage over Ankara’s decision to go ahead with the pipeline.
Iran exported $2.235 billion of non-oil products to Turkey in spring of this year, rising 430 percent from $421 million in spring of the previous year.
And it is while the Islamic Republic has imported just $1.26 billion of non-oil commodities from its neighbor, Turkey, in the mentioned time span.
With sanctions blocking Venezuela from selling oil to the United States, state-owned energy firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has turned to several little-known buyers, mostly companies from China and India, says the Reuters news agency.
Among the purchasers is a small company based in Turkey with no refineries but ties to the government of President Nicolas Maduro, according to internal documents and a PDVSA source.
Normally Turkey wouldn't have much leverage on Washington.
But if Washington wants war with Iran, and regime change in Syria, then Washington is going to have to deal with Turkey.
Otherwise things will go sideways very quickly. Even the status quo is untenable for our Syrian Kurd allies if Turkey decides otherwise.