Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday asked the United States government to review charges against a former minister in the country. The minister is accused of violating American sanctions on Iran, but Erdogan claimed that his country had not agreed to abide by the terms of the embargo on Tehran, while simultaneously saying that the minister's prosecution was motivated by politics. The Turkish leader claimed that the charges have a "peculiar smell."

Illegal financial transactions

According to Yahoo, Zafer Caglayan, the former Turkish economy minister and the former boss of a state-owned Turkish bank are accused of attempting to violate the sanctions on Iran by illegally transferring millions of dollars through the American financial system at the behest of the Iranian government.

The charges against the two officials were announced this week. The charges mark the first time that an ex-government aide with close ties to Erdogan has been indicted in the investigation. The charges have served to worsen the relations between Turkey and the United States further.

Speaking to reporters at the Ataturk airport, Erdogan stated that it is not possible to evaluate the accusations with legal parameters. He added that the US charges against the former government minister are a move against his cabinet and the entire Turkish nation. Erdogan insisted that Turkey was not part of the decision to impose sanctions on Iran since the two countries share sensitive ties. He added that he voiced these same sentiments to former United States President Barack Obama when the sanctions against Tehran were still in force.

Tax evasion

On Wednesday, US prosecutors they had charged the former Turkish minister and former Halkbank general manager Suleyman Aslan with conspiring to use the United States financial system to conduct transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iran. Such transactions were barred by the United States sanctions on Iran.

According to Reuters, the charges originate from a case against a wealthy Iranian-Turkish gold merchant Reza Zarrab. Zarrab was arrested in the US last year on suspicion of tax evasion but has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Turkish leader expressed hope that he would get an opportunity to iron out with American authorities the fall out from the accusations.

After a failed attempt to overthrow his government in July last year, Erdogan authorized a crackdown against opponents of his rule. His actions caused a strain in the relations between Turkey and the United States.