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Is the US bringing Iran and Turkey together? 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Development of Iran-Turkey relations

Historically, the Iranian-Turkish relationship has been one of competition, however, over time that has transformed into mutual respect and cooperation. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, relations became worse, as they turned into a regional rivalry between two different state ideologies – the religious revolutionary state of Iran versus the secular Republic of Turkey. However, the implementation of Turkish Foreign Policy has visibly changed with the arrival of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to power in 2002. After years of isolating itself from the East, Turkey commenced its “active engagement” policy, by re-establishing its ties with the countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. As a result of this shifting axis in Turkish Foreign Policy, the economic and political relations with Iran visibly improved. The two nations have since increased trade and worked together on geopolitical issues like dealing with the Kurds.

2. US sanctions could push Turkey towards Iran

U.S. sanctions against Turkey for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system could permanently damage relations with a NATO ally and push Ankara closer to Moscow, according to many in the US, but it could also push them closer towards Iran, in an attempt to get back at the US. Washington has already removed Turkey from its F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, a nearly $10 billion blow to Turkish defence contractors, in response to its S-400 deal. Now, Congress is pushing the White House to levy legally mandated sanctions on Turkey, which U.S. President Donald Trump has delayed in the hope of reaching a deal. If the sanctions go through, the US should be concerned about losing an important regional partner, that could help Iran in the wake of its own US sanctions.

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3. Turkish ships accused of Iran sanctions violation

4. A new alliance of Turkey, Iran and Russia?

5. Turkey, Iran restart train service between capital cities

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