Alwaght- Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected US claims of alleged Turkish evasion of sanctions against Iran, saying that the US cannot put Turkey on trial.
Erdogan made the remark on Saturday, in reference to the case of a Turkish bank executive who has been charged with evading US sanctions on Iran.
Already strained ties between NATO allies Ankara and Washington have deteriorated in recent weeks as Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab detailed in court a scheme to evade US sanctions.
Zarrab, recently charged in the US for violating US sanctions against Iran, has accused a number of Turkish officials, including Erdogan of alleged participation in the scheme for evasion of these sanctions.
Ankara has cast the testimony as an attempt to undermine Turkey and its economy, and has previously said it was a "clear plot" by the network of US-based Fethullah Gulen, who it says engineered last year's coup attempt.
Turkey has repeatedly requested Gulen's extradition, but US officials have said the courts require sufficient evidence before they can extradite the elderly cleric, who has denied any involvement in the coup.
Erdogan, who has governed Turkey for almost 15 years, told members of his ruling AK Party in the northeastern province of Kars on Saturday that US courts "can never try my country".
Although he has not yet responded to the courtroom claims, he has dismissed the case as a politically motivated attempt to bring down the Turkish government. On Friday media reports indicated that Turkish prosecutors are set to seize the assets of Zarrab and his acquaintances.
Turkey has stepped up its pressure on the US and on Saturday Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying that Gulen's followers had infiltrated the U.S. judiciary, Congress, and other state institutions.