Turkey-Iran relations amid the us retreat from the region

Mohammad Pervez Bilgrami
Approfondimento n.11 per l'Osservatorio Turchia

Both Turkey and Iran aspire to influence regional events and compete with each other. As the influence of United States is slated to ebb, both the countries will learn to live as equal powers and will have to help sort regional conflicts with concurrent interests.

In recent years, Turkey has shown that it doesn’t seek adversarial relations with Iran and has only resisted Shiite country’s policies to further its interests along sectarian preferences. Despite sharp sanctions against Iran, Turkey has assisted Tehran to parry these curbs and continue its sale of oil. In Syria, where Iran has backed Bashar Al-Assad regime with its entire means, Turkey has treaded a more cautious course and has worked to find a solution to the crisis that may respect sentiments of common Syrians.

As strong regional powers and age-old neighbours with some common security concerns, both Turkey and Iran know that they will have to live with the outcome of the conflicts around them. Iran has lost the primacy to find sustainable solutions in conflicts where both the countries are at opposite ends. A viable solution will require a regional power balance acceptable to both.

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