Turkey exported $120 million in gold to Iran in February and, according to Reuters, this evidence reveals that despite U.S. restrictions, the trade of natural gas for gold continues between the two countries, albeit at lower levels.
Reuters reported on March 29 that TUIK, Turkey’s statistics institute, says the country did not export any gold to Iran in January 2013; however, in February, $114.9 million in gold was sold to Iran, and gold exports to Dubai, which is often a route for the transfer of gold to Iran, went up from $371 million in January to $402.3 million.
A gold merchant in Istanbul told Reuters that the gold traders do not want to draw too much attention to their dealings with Iran, which is perhaps why gold exports to Iran were stopped in January.
Iran is a major supplier of natural gas and oil to Turkey, and U.S. sanctions on Iran have put restrictions on paying for these commodities in euros or dollars.
Turkey has been exempted from U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran but that exemption is due to expire in July.