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Politics, religion, and culture where East meets West

The new trend in Turkish-Iranian relations

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As the Syrian crisis has progressed, I have found it instructive to recall, at intervals, the words of a particular regional expert from October 2011 (here):

In his first interview with a Western journalist since Syria’s seven-month uprising began, President Assad told The Sunday Telegraph that intervention against his regime could cause “another Afghanistan”. Western countries “are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely,” he said. “But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different.

“Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?

“Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”

One of the divisions is already becoming apparent as Turkey and Iran start fighting over influence in the new Syria (here):

A series of unusually sharp statements over the past several days from both Turkey and Iran have brought relations between the two neighbors — which have kept improving until recently even at the expense of angering Turkey’s NATO ally the United States — to what one may call a historic low.

Turkey hit back with a harsh statement at recent remarks from Iranian officials, including the country’s chief of General Staff who has said that “it will be its turn” if Turkey continues to “help advance the warmongering policies of the United States in Syria.” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called comments by Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi “regrettable” and denied his country has meddled in Syrian affairs.

Read more.

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Written by M. James

August 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Posted in News, Politics, Turkey

Tagged with , ,

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