Amid rising tension a year after the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, Turkey is taking stock of the situation, said Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on June 21, 2019 told reporters after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Isfahan, central Iran.
“We are evaluating the process after the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal with both Europeans and Iran,” Cavusoglu said.
According to Cavusoglu, from now on the two diplomats will meet every six months for consultations
Cavusoglu said he had the opportunity to evaluate regional issues with Zarif and reviewed what could be done about the US sanctions following its withdrawal.
Tensions have been rising between the US and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Earlier today, "#Iran and #Turkey have signed a document to enhance their mutual strategic partnership… during a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Cavusoglu in Isfahan."https://t.co/yXL7vbVtwD pic.twitter.com/vABNa17bOE
— Aykan Erdemir (@aykan_erdemir) June 21, 2019
The Trump administration has since embarked on a campaign to pressure Iran to renegotiate the pact, including sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, something opposed by a host of countries, including Turkey.
Last week an attack on ships in the Gulf of Hormuz – blamed by the US on Iran, a charge Tehran denies – and Iran’s downing of a US drone on Thursday have further raised fears of a conflict.
During Friday’s visit, Cavusoglu and Zarif also discussed bilateral trade and the possibility of using national currencies rather than the dollar for trade and also signed a plan meant to strengthen cooperation in bilateral, regional, and international relations.
According to Cavusoglu, from now on the two diplomats will meet every six months for consultations. Cavusoglu had arrived in Isfahan a day earlier, on Thursday, for a working visit at the invitation of Zarif. Afterwards, he attended a lunch hosted in his honor by Zarif.
Iran and Turkey’s Separate Conflict with US could be a Uniting Factor
(Analysis by GVS News Desk)
The relationship of Turkey and US has been strained due to the recent disagreement between the two countries over Turkish purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system. The US claimed this purchase would contradict NATO requirements, however Turkey remained adamant and assured that the Russian missile defense system would not be integrated into NATO agreement. Several other NATO allies have also been negotiating S-400 purchase with Russia. In the wake of Turkey’s non-flinching stance on this purchase deal, the US has excluded Turkey from its F-35 jet program.
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Iran, on the other hand, has never had a closely attached alliance with the US. However the US Iran relationship worsened after US unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA, and re-imposed sanctions against Iran. Earlier this week, Iranian forces shot down a US drone flying in Irans airspace. The Trump administration further escalated the tension by mobilizing forces and warning Iran of an imminent attack. Trump, however, pulled back after Pentagon “advised” against attacking Iran.
Both parties’ separate conflicts with US could provide common grounds for them to further develop diplomatic relations. While the US attempts to lobby against Iran in the Middle East, Iran could gain US foes as allies.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk