Monday, December 30, 2013

Nasr: 'Applaude a Turkish-Iranian rapprochement: It could rid us of Assad & Hezbollah'!

"... If Iran does conclude a long-term nuclear deal with the West, it still cannot expect a warm welcome from the Sunni Arab world. With the region divided by a widening sectarian rift, the Persian Gulf monarchies will become only more fretful about Iran’s regional ambitions. That makes Turkey potentially a key strategic partner for Iran, especially if its economy starts to grow as sanctions are relaxed.With American influence in the region in decline, and with Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies finding themselves united in their opposition to Iran, Turkey could find itself playing a central role thanks to its links with Iran. A new Turkish-Iranian partnership could be a welcome development for the West: Turkey’s economic ties could boost Iran’s commercial development, which would help consolidate the political position of the moderates in Tehran. The real gains would come if a closer relationship with Turkey began to erode the alliance of militias and radical religious forces on which Iran has relied to project its influence.
To play this enlarged regional role, though, Turkey must first reassure the West that it will remain a trusted NATO ally and not demonize Western allies as a way of managing political dissent at home. However Mr. Erdogan’s domestic difficulties fall out, Turkey has an opportunity to restore its international standing. It will have to show that it is not simply an advocate for Iran, but has used its influence
to shift Iran’s foreign policy and facilitate a permanent nuclear deal."