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Turkey, Iran Compartmentalize Ties to Sidestep Differences

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

After months of sharp disagreement about the conflict in Syria, Turkey is eager to compartmentalize its relationship with Iran and focus on areas where the two countries can cooperate. Yet, despite the attempts to brand the recent meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “turning point” for the two countries’ relationship, the two sides continue to have serious disagreements about the price of natural gas, the Syrian civil war and the future of the region.

Nevertheless, there are areas in which the two sides can work together to deepen trade and political ties. For Turkey, this effort is part of a larger strategy to reboot its foreign policy. And for the Islamic Republic, the outreach to Turkey is aimed at improving the economy and demonstrating to the Iranian people the government’s renewed commitment to expanding political and economic ties with states in the region. ...

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