Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif strongly condemned unilateral U.S. sanctions against Turkey.
“U.S. addiction to sanctions and contempt for international law at full display again. We strongly condemn recent U.S. sanctions against Turkey and stand with its people and government,” Zarif said on Twitter on Tuesday.
He shared the tweet with the hashtag #Neighborsfirst.
Zarif’s comments refer to the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and its chief, Ismail Demir. His comments also come a few days after tensions escalated between Turkey and Iran over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recitation of a poem during victory celebrations in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.
Sanctions were placed on Turkey for its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Several other Turkish defense officials, namely Mustafa Alper Deniz, Serhat Gençoğlu and Faruk Yiğit, were also sanctioned for their role in the S-400 purchase.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, in its immediate response, condemned the decision and highlighted the U.S.’ unfair stance on the matter throughout the S-400 purchase process.
Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States were badly strained last year over Ankara’s acquisition of the advanced S-400 Russian air defense system, prompting Washington to remove Turkey from its F-35 Lightning II jet program.
The U.S. argued that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey, however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Previous talks between Turkey and the U.S. on the purchase of Patriots collapsed over a host of issues, from the S-400s to Ankara’s dissatisfaction with Washington’s terms. Turkey has said it will only agree to an offer if it includes a technology transfer and joint production terms.
Ankara has repeatedly stressed it was the U.S.’ refusal to sell Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia had offered a better deal, including technology transfers. Turkey even proposed setting up a commission to clarify any technical issues. During a visit to Washington last November, Erdoğan met with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump and agreed on setting up a working group.