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Turkish-Iranian relations in a changing Middle East

Turkish-Iranian relations in a changing Middle East

Larrabee, F. Stephen, author; Nader, Alireza, author

Turkish-Iranian cooperation has visibly intensified in recent years, thanks in part to Turkish energy needs and Iran's vast oil and natural gas resources. However, Turkey and Iran tend to be rivals rather than close partners. While they may share certain economic and security interests, especially regarding the Kurdish issue, their interests are at odds in many areas across the Middle East. Turkey's support for the opposition in Syria, Iran's only true state ally in the Middle East, is one example. Iraq has also become a field of growing competition between Turkey and Iran. Iran's nuclear program has been a source of strain and divergence in U.S.-Turkish relations. However, the differences between the United States and Turkey regarding Iran's nuclear program are largely over tactics, not strategic goals. Turkey's main fear is that Iran's acquisition of nuclear arms could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. This, in turn, could increase pressure on the Turkish government to consider developing its own nuclear weapon capability. U.S. and Turkish interests have become more convergent since the onset of the Syrian crisis. However, while U.S. and Turkish interests in the Middle East closely overlap, they are not identical. Thus, the United States should not expect Turkey to follow its policy toward Iran unconditionally. Turkey has enforced United Nations sanctions against Iran but, given Ankara's close energy ties to Tehran, may be reluctant to undertake the harshest measures against Iran

eBook, Paperback, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2013

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: F. Stephen Larrabee, Alireza Nader
ISBN: 0833080334, 0833080350, 9780833080110, 9780833080332, 9780833080356
Note: At head of title: Rand National Defense Research Institute.
Note: "Prepared for the National Intelligence Council."
Note: Online version; title from PDF title page (Rand, viewed November 13, 2013).
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 39-46).
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xi, 46 pages).
Series: RAND Corporation research report series
Subject: Middle East.; Turkey Foreign relations Iran.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Government International.; Middle East Strategic aspects.; POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations General.; Iran Foreign relations Turkey.; POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations Trade & Tariffs.; Diplomatic relations.; Turkey.; Strategic aspects of individual places.; Iran.
Series Title: Research report (Rand Corporation)
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Purpose and organization of the study
  2. Turkey and Iran in a changing Middle East
  3. Israel and the Palestinian issue
  4. Central Asia and the Caucasus
  5. The nuclear issue
  6. The economic dimension
  7. Prospects for the future.