Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/18 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/18 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/18 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/18 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/18 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/14 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/17 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/14 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/17 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/17 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/17 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/14 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/17 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/14 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/17 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/14 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Middle East

Turkey's Tehran visit points to growing cooperation

media Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, 4 October 2017. Reuters

Leaders of Iran and Turkey pledged to work together on security and stability in the Middle East after talks in Tehran on Wednesday. While presidents Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised their common opposition to the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, their meeting also reflects the two countries’ growing influence in the Middle East.

The 25 September independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan identified a common point of interest for Iran and Turkey, each of which have large Kurdish minorities of their own.

Even before Erdogan flew to Tehran to meet Rouhani on Wednesday, both their countries’ military chiefs agreed to step up cooperation.

“Iran and Turkey are two old states – they are not colonial constructions like Iraq – so the main concern will be to emphasise the importance status quo,” says Clement Therme, researcher on Iran with the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“They share the same security concern and they will ask for the respect of international law and the protection of the borders of the state.”

Even before Erdogan’s visit, Rouhani had been saying the two countries could expand their actions in the diplomatic sphere in remarks reflecting a softening in positions regarding the conflict in Syria.

“At the beginning of the crisis with Syria, Turkey wanted to have the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad resign, but they gradually changed their mind and now they are not talking about the resignation of al Assad anymore,” notes Farhad Rezaei, a research fellow at the Center for Iranian Studies in Ankara.

Clement Therme also notes the position of the Kurds in Syria fits into common concerns of both Ankara and Tehran.

“They are also afraid of a Kurdish region in the north of Syria,” notes Clement Therme. “So more and more, they share the same interests in Syria.”

However, Farhad Rezaei warns that Turkey and Iran run the risk of pushing too hard against the Kurds.

“One major risk is that antagonizing Kurds may result in uniting all Kurdish groups in the region against these countries,” Farhad Rezaei says. “I think this visit is for engineering a road map to see what Iran and Turkey can really do to bring [Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud] Barzani back in line.”

Erdogan’s visit to Tehran also has significance in light of the shifting balance of power in the Middle East.

“It shows once again that the Arab states are not in a position to challenge Turkish and Iranian regional power anymore, and that the non-Arab states of the region are at the moment the more powerful ones,” Clement Therme says.

“Saudi Arabia is in difficulty because of the Yemen war, and Egypt is facing a political and economic crisis,” he continues. “So I think this meeting shows that the Arab states are no longer able, through the Arab League, to shape the future of the Middle East.”

 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.