US President Donald Trump has declared an “economic war” on Iran, which will impact the global economy, by cancelling the 2015 nuclear agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told CNN yesterday.
The Turkish leader criticised Trump, stating “you should respect an agreement that you have signed” and said the reimposition of sanctions on Iran was a move the world can ill afford.
“The United States might gain some certain positivity out of the withdrawal…or the rising oil prices, but many of the countries in poverty will be hit even harder and deeper,” he warned.
Erdogan also cautioned that the decision would be detrimental to the US in the long run: “…in my view, the US would be the ones to lose. Iran will never compromise on this agreement, and will abide by this agreement to the end … that’s what I think. However, the US will lose in the end.”
The president also appealed to the US to reverse its decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ahead of the official opening on Monday, stating that the resolution was a “huge mistake”.
He argued that the US was only damaging itself through its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, claiming the move had isolated it from the international community at the UN when 128 countries condemned the decision, with only nine backing it.
Erdogan emphasised that “East Jerusalem is the capital city of Palestine” and said it will one day be home to an embassy serving Turkey’s interests in a Palestinian state.
The president, who is facing upcoming elections next month, also criticised the US for its policy on Syria, an issue of longstanding tension between the two.
Since January, Turkey has been undertaking an air and ground offensive in Syria as part of “Operation Olive Branch” against the YPG, Kurdish militias that have been affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a designated terror organisation that has launched continual attacks against Turkey. The YPG make up a large proportion of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the US has backed in the fight against Daesh.
“Let’s fight together in Raqqa, was what I said to President Trump personally,” Erdogan said. “And stop supporting PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party] and YPG. Don’t walk hand in hand with these terrorists or that’ll be a mistake. But unfortunately, the US preferred moving with them and set aside Turkey.”
Last week, Erdogan said that Turkey intends to carry out new military operations along its border with Syria “until not a single terrorist is left”.
Whilst Turkey has previously expressed a desire to proceed to the northern city of Manbij, held by US-backed forces, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that the US and Turkey had reached an agreement to withdraw YPG militants from the city.