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17 per cent of foreign companies started in Turkey during September were started with Iranian investment, Today’s Zaman reports.That figure comes from a Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) report released on Friday. It appears to be part of a rising trend; the same report says that 2,140 companies were funded by Iran last year — a 40% increase on 2010.
More than half of all Iranian-funded companies are based in Istanbul, the report said.
The worry is that these new companies are being used to get around the numerous sanctions that restrict international trade with Iran. Many believe these sanctions were behind recent trouble in the Iranian economy.
One source, a former senior executive of a Turkish company with deep ties to Iran, told Zaman that this was very much the case. “Some of these [Iranian] companies were established to procure goods and merchandise for the Iranian economy in clear violation of the [Western] sanctions [aimed at pressuring Iran to drop its controversial nuclear program]. They use smugglers to get the merchandise across the border to Iran.”
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