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U.S. says in talks with Turkey over Iran gas-for-gold

Published: December 6, 2012
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Source: Reuters

U.S. diplomats are in talks with Ankara over the flow of gold from Turkey in exchange for Iranian natural gas, the State Department said on Tuesday.

"We continue, obviously, to consult closely with Turkey - as we do with all the countries - on the scope of U.S. sanctions against Iran," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at a daily briefing.

"Certainly we would pursue any evidence of potentially sanctionable transactions," Toner said.

Turkey relies on natural gas imports from Iran and has been paying for it using Turkish lira. In turn, Tehran has used the lira to buy Turkish gold. Couriers carry the gold to Dubai and from there, it is then shipped to Iran.

Turkey also imports Iranian oil as Washington has granted it exemptions from sanctions for that trade since Ankara has reduced its purchases.

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