As diplomats from major world powers prepare to sit down with Iranian officials on February 26 in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, Tehran is sending conflicting signals about its nuclear intentions.
Turkey’s multi-billion-dollar gold sales to neighboring Iran could put the country on a collision course with its close ally, the United States, when high-ranking diplomats from the two countries hold talks in Washington.
There is a tendency to view the tense relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran through the prism of religion. But bilateral enmity is rooted more in strategic considerations than it is in ideology or religion.
The last time that Turkey sought to mediate between Iran and the international community over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, it ended in a diplomatic fiasco. Now, two years later, Turkey is trying again. Will the results prove any different?
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party appears to be recalibrating its Iran policy and increasingly distancing itself from the more vocal support it previously gave the Iranian regime. As the two powers tussle over Syria, Iraq and other issues, analysts warn that their rivalry for leadership in the Middle East is only likely to sharpen.
A Caspian Sea summit may have been what brought Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Baku recently, but it was Iran’s bilateral relations with Azerbaijan that commanded a greater share of attention.
Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, Azerbaijan appears caught in a delicate balancing act between cooperation with the United States in implementing sanctions against Tehran and the reality of its own longstanding ties to its southern neighbor.