Turkey and Iran’s Complicated Relationship

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At first glance it seems that Turkey, the United States, Israel and Europe share many, if not all, of the same goals vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear issue. All have proclaimed their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, invested in technologies to defend against the Islamic Republic’s growing missile capabilities, and squared off at one time or another with the Iranian regime. However, there remain serious disagreements about how best to pressure Iran to be more forthcoming with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about alleged weaponization experiments. Turkey in particular has taken a much different approach than its Western counterparts. Instead of supporting sanctions backed by the threat of military action, policymakers in Ankara have left both off the table in favor of robust diplomatic engagement.

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