Iran and Turkey Detente

The Guardian is reporting about the recent diplomatic flurry between Iran and Turkey. The question I have is the following: what does this mean for the landlocked Armenia? Is Iran, after so many years of staying neutral in the Armenian-Azeri conflict finally going to be un-neutralled, thereby entering a coalition with Azerbaijan and Turkey who have no qualms about their wish to see Armenia cornered into a neo-dhimmitude? The first salvo in this direction, or at least the warning shot of an impending deterioration in relations between Armenia and Iran could have been the reports coming out of Iran this past week that Armenia is not keeping its end of the bargain vis-a-vis Iranian gas deliveries into the the country. Or am I being an alarmist? Report can be accessed here.

Is Iran dropping Russia for Turkey?

The famous Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, wrote in his book, The Art of War: “If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position weak.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is currently witnessing how the US, which he sees as the enemy for his nuclear ambitions, is working hard on building alliances, including with Russia. Khamenei is not happy.

So much so that Iran recently cancelled a deal with Russia to launch its communication satellite, and turned to Italy instead. This is in addition to recent complaints from Tehran regarding delays from Russia in the delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft system. Until recently, Tehran kept its complaints away from the cameras and behind closed doors. But now that Khamenei sees the Russians as disloyal, his regime is not shy about airing its criticism publicly.

The Iranian government has decided to take the initiative and to look for a new partner to replace the Russians. Judging by the recent flurry of visits between Tehran and Ankara, it seems that Khamenei has found a willing partner in Turkey.

Unlike Russia, Turkey does not have a veto in the UN security council. However, its stock in the Middle East and the Islamic world is certainly rising. Its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is being seen more and more as a credible defender of Islamic and Arab issues. Many people on the Arab street respect his leadership, as he was elected in a genuinely democratic elections. The same can not be said about Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who received their posts undemocratically.

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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