Turkish lesson on Iran may aid West

Turkish lesson on Iran may aid West

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish lesson on Iran may aid West

Iranian President Ahmadinejad (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan are seen in this May 2010 photo. A report by the International Crisis Group says Turkey can play a crucial role in solving Iran’s disputed nuclear program. AA photo

The West could use Turkey’s experience in engaging efforts to solve Iran’s disputed nuclear program, International Crisis Groups said in a report, warning that if the West does do its utmost to revive the diplomatic option, it runs the risk of cornering itself in a high-cost war for uncertain gains.

Turkey cannot solve a three-decade old crisis of confidence between Iran and the U.S.,” said Hugh Pope, Crisis Group’s Turkey-Cyprus project director, in a report titled “In Heavy Waters: Iran’s Nuclear Program, the Risk of War and Lessons from Turkey.” “But a world community in desperate need of fresh thinking could benefit by testing Ankara’s assumptions about how best to deal with Tehran,” he added.

Turkey’s highly energetic diplomatic engagement

The report said the situation was getting confusing and worrying with secretive acts of hostility, including cyber-attacks, the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, mysterious explosions in Iran and attacks against Israeli targets in various countries. It depicts Turkey as a country highly skeptical about sanctions that rules out any military action and believes in direct, energetic diplomatic engagement with Iranian officials. “Ankara is not a central player, and its opposition to broad sanctions and support of dialogue are not dissimilar to the views of key actors such as Russia and China. But Turkey knows Iran well – an outgrowth of its long, complex relationship with a powerful neighbor. As a non-traditional power, anchored in Western institutions but part of the Muslim world, it can play to Tehran’s rejection of a two-tiered world order,” the report said.

Iran, West, Turkey