Can Turkey Avert Mideast Disaster?
Turkey’s peripatetic Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spent last Thursday in Tehran in negotiations with leading Iranian officials. Davutoglu’s visit comes at a very critical juncture in U.S.-Iran relations, as saber-rattling dangerously escalates over the United States’ ever-more stringent sanctions and Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.
Davutoglu’s visit also comes as Shia-Sunni tensions in Iraq rise in the wake of the American withdrawal. These tensions threaten the very survival of Iraq as a united country and have the potential to adversely affect Iran-Turkey relations — in light of Iran’s strong support of the Shia in Iraq and Turkey’s sympathy for the Sunni cause.
Iran and Turkey’s divergent stances on Syria as well as Turkey’s decision to host a NATO anti-missile radar facility close to the Iranian border have added even more to the strain…