|Iranian bank applies for Turkish banking license||
ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's Bank Pasargad has applied for a license to operate in Turkey, a banking sector official told Reuters.
Pasargad's move is a fresh sign of the strengthening commercial ties between the neighboring countries in recent years but coincides with growing U.S. pressure on Turkey and other countries to curb oil purchases from Iran.
Turkish media reported at the weekend that three Iranian banks, including Pasargad and Bank Tejerat, had applied to the Turkish banking watchdog for a banking license.
A Turkish banking sector official said only Bank Pasargad had applied recently to the BDDK banking regulator, doing so around 20 days ago.
Officials from Bank Pasargad were not immediately available to comment.
"These three banks applied 4-5 years ago and only one of them was viewed favorably," a source close to the Iranian banking sector said.
The United States is implementing tough sanctions passed by Congress last year targeting Iran's central bank and countries that fail to make "significant" cuts to oil purchases from Iran.
Trade between Turkey and Iran has risen sharply over the past decade, and Turkey was regarded as a possible weak link in the international sanctions against Iran.
Turkey was Iran's fifth-largest oil customer in 2011, buying around 200,000 barrels per day, 30 percent of its total imports and more than 7 percent of Iran's oil exports.
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