RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND IRAN: KASIMI SAID IRANIAN APPROACH BECAME CLOSER TO TURKEY’S




İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-18.08.2017-  In an interview published by CNN Turk, Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Behram Kasımi, said ‘’ Our ideas became closer to Turkish government’s approach on the subject’’.

In the joint press conference that Kasımi informed foreign journalists about Iran’s perspective and attitudes about Syrian Civil War, he noted significant points about Tehran’s changing behaviour towards Ankara on the issue.

Kasımi started his words as ‘’ Our relations between Turkey started to be changed especially after failed coup attempt happened on 15 June 2016’’.  Iran was one of the first states that presented their deep condolences for the unfortunate event and congradulated Turkish people for their determinance.

Secondly, Kasımi stated that economic relations between the two states is developing. Moreover, he indicated that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would visit Tehran to join high level economic cooperation meeting but the dates were not determined yet.

Thirdly, he mentioned on the fifth Astana Talks conducted in Tehran, on 8-9 August. He said representatives of the three states debated about de-conflict zones. He acknowledged that consent about Iranian and Turkish representatives on many issues made even their Russian counterparts bewildered. He said representatives of the three countries would met a day before the sixth round of Astana Talks and would have a conclusion on de-conflict zones.

Moreover, he expressed that Tehran was against the independence referendum which would be held on 25 September in Northern Iraq and determined it as a ‘’raw process’’ that may affect the region negatively. Additionally, he warned Turkey on the issue as ‘’it may spread’’.

Finally, he touched upon US President Donald Trump’s Foreign policy objectives and the future of Iran Nuclear Deal. He called Trump’s policies as ‘’tied’’ and said ‘’ There are various voices in Washington on different topics. We must observe well to hear the final say’’.

On Iran Nuclear Deal, he worded that President Trump could not change anything single-handedly but if USA cheat on the agreement, Iran would turn to do what it was supposed to do. He disclosed his curiosity about USA’s European partners that also signed the treaty in case of an infringement made by USA. He asked ‘’ In this case, would they criticize USA?’’. 

It is sure that Kasımi’s words are really interesting. Indeed, his sentences about upcoming referendum in Erbil.  This is a very risky topic that might affect both countries negatively and led cooperation between Tehran and Ankara. Nevertheless, Kasımi’s allusive ‘’warnings’’ about ‘’contagiosity’’ of the issue should be underlined. It is sure that the two states have not fought against each other for about 400 years but they were not ‘’close friends’’ too, regardless of geographical advantages. This sentence may be used to divert the threat that may influence also Tehran. What if Iranian diplomats had secret aggreements with foreign powers that support Kurdish militants and the ideology? Iranians are good diplomats and it is hard to see the front in dessert storm. At this point, it is crucial to remind that about 8,5 million Kurds are living in Iran and it is the home of the first Kurdish state named Mahabad.  Some experts still believe that it would be beter if Iran and Turkey cooperate on this issue.