Turkey is aligning itself with Iran through military cooperation

  • Jan Merička
  • 21.8.2017 09:42

On Wednesday 16 August Iranian General Mohammad Bagheri and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Ankara and agreed to step up military cooperation in counter-terrorism and the fight against the Islamic State. The talks also touched on the joint efforts of Iran, Turkey, and Russia to stabilize Syria. It was the first visit to Turkey by an Iranian military representative since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

This visit can be seen as a signal of further alignment between Iran and Turkey but also with Russia, who is getting increasingly more engaged in the Middle East. In addition to military cooperation, both representatives also agreed to exchange intelligence information. The reason for this convergence can be not only the fight against the IS but also fear of the creation of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq, which could jeopardize the internal integrity of both Iran and Turkey since the Kurds' territory stretches onto both of the countries' territories. Turkish willingness to cooperate with Iran and Russia also shows the deepening crisis in relations with the North Atlantic Alliance and the US.

About author: Jan Merička

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