Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu says Ankara hopes the US will return to the 2015 agreement, speaking at a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif in Istanbul.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif (L) are seen during their meeting at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on January 29, 2021.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif (L) are seen during their meeting at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on January 29, 2021. (AA)

Turkey has urged the United States to return to the Iran nuclear agreement and lift sanctions on the Islamic republic, clearing the way for improved trade between the two neighbours.

US President Joe Biden's administration has signalled a fresh approach to the Middle East, including a gradual return to diplomacy with Iran.

But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would only rejoin the Iran agreement, which Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, once Tehran resumes complying with its terms.

"We hope the United States will return to the agreement under the Biden administration," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press appearance with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Istanbul on Friday.

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Iran expects US to take first step

On Thursday, Zarif said Washington had to take the first step because it was the one that walked away from the landmark 2015 accord, which was also signed by the European Union, Russia and China.

"We are ready to do our part once America fulfils its commitments," Zarif reaffirmed on Friday.

Biting US sanctions on Tehran that accompanied Trump's decision to drop the deal have hampered trade between Turkey and Iran, which once included large Turkish purchases of Iranian oil.

"Turkey has a clear stance against the US sanctions," Cavusoglu said.

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'Cooperation on Caucasus will benefit region'

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister hailed relations with Turkey, adding that ties will deepen when the US adopts more reasonable attitudes.

He went on to say that cooperation between Turkey and Iran on the Caucasus will definitely benefit regional countries.

"Iran-Turkey relations are very important for us and filled with m utual benefits," Zarif said.

He expressed the hope that the trade volume between the two countries will return to the pre-pandemic and -embargo days.

"Unfortunately, the US is used to imposing sanctions," Zarif said.

Zarif will be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the Friday prayer.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies