Mesopotamian nexus: Iran, Turkey and the Kurds

William Gourlay

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Abstract

This chapter examines the foreign policy options available to Iran under President Hassan Rouhani within the Mesopotamian neighborhood. It will focus particularly on Turkey, a fellow middle-power, non-Arab state in the Middle East, within the context of the shifting dynamics ofKurdish politics. Iran and Turkey may be seen as rivals in their immediate neighborhood.1 They also assume verydifferent poses in their relations with the West; Turkey is seen as a reliable ally of the West, while Iran is opposed to Western influence and involvement. Examining Iran’s position relative to Turkey in the region through a purely realist prism would posit that the struggle for power is the fundamental political factor that determines the foreign policy of both countries. This would mean that direct clashes of interest and one-on-one power plays are the prime determinants of the Iran—Turkey relationship. The election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency in 2013, however, raised the prospect of a more cooperative and collaborative Iranian foreign policy. Iran—Turkey relations, which had warmed in recent years, looked set to further improve under President Rouhani’s purview.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIran in the World
Subtitle of host publicationPresident Rouhani's Foreign Policy
EditorsShahram Akbarzadeh, Dara Conduit
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter7
Pages111-131
Number of pages21
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic) 9781137585776
ISBN (Print)9781137576323, 9781349995370
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Foreign Policy
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Iranian Regime
  • Islamic Revolution
  • Friendly Competition

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