US sanctions crossed out gold-for-gas trade between Iran and Turkey: report

The Turkey-Iran gold-for-gas exchange can be considered dead as tighter US sanctions imposed on Tehran have already stopped Turkish Halkbank from processing other countries’ energy payments to the OPEC oil producer.

According to Turkish authorities quoted by Reuters, Iran’s demand for the precious metal was expected to fall, but the new set of restrictions imposed by the US means the only way the country can continue energy imports from Iran, is by trading sanction-free goods.

"Halkbank can only accept payments for Turkish oil and gas purchases and Iran is only allowed to buy food, medicine and industrial products with that money," one senior Turkish banker told Reuters.

"The gas for gold trade is very difficult after the second round of sanctions. Iranians cannot just withdraw the cash and buy whatever they want. They have to prove what they are buying … so gold exports will definitely fall," he added.

The restrictions, triggered by Iran’s nuclear program, came after it was discovered the West Asian nation had evaded the sanctions for a big chunk of 2012 by importing Turkish gold as payment for its gas.

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