The future of Iran-Turkey relations has been a topic of interest, especially as Ankara and Tehran stand on the opposite sides of the Syrian crisis. There has been some speculation about a cooling off in the relations and a collapse in the vibrant trade and energy ties between the two neighbors. However, as will be shown below, the outlook for trade and energy ties remains positive.
On Oct. 17, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying that Turkey would continue to import oil and gas from Iran despite Western pressure to reduce its imports. Turkey is importing 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year from Iran but would buy more if it were available, Yildiz said in a briefing during the World Energy Congress in South Korea. The country would also take at least the same 5 million tons (100,000 barrels per day) of Iranian crude in 2014 that it is taking this year, as any more cuts in the volumes from Iran would “threaten” its economy, Yildiz said. Evidently, energy cooperation, especially Turkish gas imports from Iran, is an important cornerstone in bilateral relations; however, one needs to appreciate the nature of Iran-Turkey ties to assess how sustainable these relations are in the current challenging environment.