A worker checks the valve gears in a natural gas control centre of Turkey's Petroleum and Pipeline Corporation
A worker checks the valve gears in a natural gas control centre of Turkey\'s Petroleum and Pipeline Corporation (Reuters)

Turkey will continue to import Iranian oil despite growing international pressure to boycott it, according to Reuters.

Rumours that Ankara was willing to buy more Saudi oil spread after a high level delegation travelled to Riyadh over the weekend. But the Saudi oil ministry said Turkish energy officials did not ask for additional oil: "Turkey did not ask for more oil, and has no plans to ban imports from Iran," he said.

The move will certainly be welcomed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which could be banned from exporting crude to the European Union from 1 July. Major Asian customers are signalling they might cut purchases as well.

EU and US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear plans are curtailing oil production in the country.

An Ankara-based energy official said: "Turkey will continue to buy from Iran unless the United Nations supports/endorses the EU and US oil embargo".

Turkey imports around 200,000 barrels per day of oil from the Islamic Republic, covering 30 percent of daily domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz, shadowed by Iranian patrol boats. No incidents were reported, despite Iran's continuous threat to close the narrow strait as an act of revenge against Western sanctions.