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Iran Transportation Minister: Sanctions 'Over' Already

TEHRAN — The deal between Tehran and the West to curb Iran's secretive nuclear program in return for an end to crippling economic sanctions isn't slated to take effect until Oct. 19. But with Western delegations already streaming in and out of Tehran in anticipation of business and investment opportunities, Iran's Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi said this week that "sanctions via the sea are effectively over," reformist daily Shargh reported.

Akhoundi suggested that the international sanctions regime was being quietly dismantled ahead of its formal timetable, and that "for six months now" as many as 16 cargo liners had been docking at three different Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. He made the remarks at a Sunday meeting in Tehran with Poland's Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski.

Shargh cited Tehran-based analyst Hadi Haqshenas as saying that ending sea-bound sanctions would cut $100 off the cost of every container of goods imported into Iran.

A member of a national transporters' association, Mas'ud Daneshmand, also told Shargh that sanctions had meant "no ship from any country had the right to dock at an Iranian port. But now, all ships can enter Iranian ports," which seemingly corroborated Akhoundi's remarks. Daneshmand predicted that with a formal end to sanctions, shipping would be redirected from Arab ports on the Persian Gulf back to Iran.

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Geopolitics

It's A Golden Era For Russia-Turkey Relations — Just Look At The Numbers

On the diplomatic and political level, no world leader speaks more regularly with Vladimir Putin than his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the growing closeness of Russia and Turkey can also be measured in the economic data. And the 2022 numbers are stunning.

Photo of Erdogan and Putin walking out of a door

Erdogan and Putin last summer in Sochi, Russia

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via ZUMA
Aytug Özçolak

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — As Russia has become increasingly isolated since the invasion of Ukraine, the virtual pariah state has drawn notably closer to one of its remaining partners: Turkey.

Ankara has committed billions of dollars to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and contracted to Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The countries’ foreign policies are also becoming increasingly aligned.

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But the depth of this relationship goes much further. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin more than any other leader: 16 times in 2022, and 11 times in 2021. Erdoğan has visited Russia 14 times since 2016, compared to his 10 visits to the U.S. in the same time period (half of which were in 2016 and 2017).

But no less important is the way the two countries are increasingly tied together by commerce.

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