Wednesday, January 16th 10:53 AM IST

US asks Turkey to stop Iran gold trade

# Turkey gold  # gold exports Iran  # trade deficit  

US-Turkish relations were hit after the Turks officially acknowledged that the rapid rise of gold exports was related to payments for imports of Iranian gas.

WASHINGTON(BullionStreet): Close allies United States and Turkey are again on a collision course over Turkey's surging sales of gold to Iran.

According to reports, the US had conveyed a strong message to Turkey over it's gold sales to Iran when top officials of foreign ministry of the two nations met here.

US-Turkish relations were hit after the Turks officially acknowledged that the rapid rise of gold exports was related to payments for imports of Iranian gas.

Last year, the value of the gold shipped to Iran from Turkey is estimated at $11-12 billion.Worldwide in 2010-11, Turkey had total exports of gold and precious gems worth about $4 billion.

Experts said most of the gold transfer were made through Switzerland and UAE. The trade is providing Iran a lifeline.

They added that the dispute over gold transfers is putting Turkey in a tight spot. Iranian gas is crucial to Ankara’s efforts to diversify its gas imports.

The Turkish government is reluctant to increase its already heavy dependency on Russia for energy.

The US may forced to take tough actions against the Turks if Ankara continued to engage in gold trade with Iran despite the fact that Turkey remained an increasingly important ally in the Middle East, analysts said.

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