Trade between Iran and Turkey has risen nearly 50 percent this year, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). The monetary value of Iran-Turkey trade reached $20 billion in a 10-month period ending in November, the news agency reported.
Of the $20 billion in trade, $7 billion resulted from Turkish exports of gold to Iran. The reason: Turkey has been importing Iranian oil and gas, and has been compensating the Islamic Republic in gold, beginning in February.
The move may be a violation of the United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. It is clearly a violation in spirit of the sanctions imposed by Turkey's Western allies, including the United States and the European Union, whose governments have all supplemented the U.N. economic and trade sanctions with others.
Turkish imports from Iran, however, were far less: in 2011, Turkey imported $10.573 billion in goods, a figure that actually dropped to $10.368 billion this year.
There was a 45.89 percent growth in value, compared to the same period the previous year, when bilateral trade stood at $19.697 billion.
According to the report, exports from Turkey to Iran rose 243.5 percent in 2012 over the previous year, a total of $9.329 billion in products to Iran over the 10-month period in 2012. The figure represents a drastic increase over the $2.927 billion in exports to Iran the previous year.
Iran continues to defy the United Nations and world community by refusing to slow uranium enrichment, denying access to inspectors and conducting live tests of conventional explosives that could be used to detonate a nuclear weapon. The sanctions imposed by Western nations and the U.N. Security Council are aimed at forcing the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear development activities through diplomatic means, rather than having to carry out a military operation to cripple its suspected drive towards producing an atomic weapon of mass destruction.
A new United Nations nuclear watchdog report has revealed that Iran has completed installation of 2,700 centrifuges at its underground Fordow plant, enabling it to speed up production of 20 percent pure enriched uranium that could be used for manufacturing a nuclear weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in August that approximately 700 of 2000 centrifuges were in operation, but the new report indicates that a dramatic increase in production has since been detected, according to AFP.