Iran ‘politically equidistant’ to west, east

TEHRAN, Aug. 03 (MNA) – A Turkish politician has told Mehr News Iran could fairly equally establish relations with both west and east.

Payman Yazdani of Mehr News International Service asked Mr. Osman Faruk Loğoğlu, Turkish opposition party member and parliamentarian, about the new emerging situations in the Middle East, especially shift of focus in US regional policy and Turkey’s recent change of policy toward ISIL, which catapulted a more effective Turkish contribution to the campaign against the terrorist group:

Some say that the nuclear deal undermined strategic alliance between Iran, Russia and China. Iran tries to lead a balanced foreign policy. Doesn't Iran's effort to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Russia's support to it mean that improvement in Iran relation with West would be in the expense of its relation with Russia and China?

Iran, like Turkey, is a pivotal state. But unlike Turkey which is a member of the Euro-Atlantic community, Iran does not belong to a particular group or bloc of nations. Thus, Iran can maintain equally close relations both in the West and the East.

 

Some believe that a possible US policy focus shift from Middle East to Southeast Asia will create power vacuum in the region. What will be Iran’s and Turkey’s roles in this regard?

The US focus has shifted from the Middle East to Southeast Asia as a strategic choice by President Obama. This has led to regional Powers assuming greater responsibilities and more prominent roles in regional affairs. The tendency is to juxtapose and project Turkey and Iran as rivals in the region. My view is that Turkey and Iran have very strong mutual interests in making the region safe and secure. If they cooperate, they will both benefit and the entire region will be better off.

 

Turkey allowed the US lead anti-ISIL coalition to use Incirlik Air Base against ISIL and itself joined this coalition. What are the Turkey's reasons for this? Can this be considered as a deal between Turkey and the US?

ISIL is a terrorist organization. Turkish government finally came to this conclusion after the ISIL attack in Suruç, which killed more than 30 people. Turkey was part of the coalition from the start providing logistical support only. Now it is actively fighting ISIL. It is a belated step, but as the saying goes "better late than never."

 

Interview by: Payman Yazdani

 

News Code 108987

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