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Turkey to Go Ahead With Iran Gas Deal

Associated Press

Defying new U.S. sanctions, Turkey’s prime minister said Saturday that his country hopes to go ahead with a multibillion-dollar gas deal with Iran.

But Necmettin Erbakan said his three-day visit to Iran’s capital was not a challenge to the United States, which accuses Iran and Libya of sponsoring international terrorism.

Erbakan, the leader of Turkey’s Islamic party, stressed that “we shall open a new era in our relations with our Muslim brother, Iran.”

The visit, Erbakan’s first foreign trip since taking office in June, has been criticized by Washington.

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President Clinton signed a law last week that punishes U.S. and foreign companies that invest more than $40 million a year in oil and gas sectors in Iran and Libya.

The Turkish gas deal would be the first direct challenge to U.S. efforts to squeeze Iran.


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