Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was very content during a trip to Turkey on Friday. He said it was productive and smiled alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. He said it was a “wonderful” trip where he spoke with his “brother Cavusoglu.”
The trip signals the growing alliance that Turkey and Iran have in the region.
Zarif said: “As before, constructive engagement on bilateral and regional issues. Ultimate aim: Apply Iran and Turkey’s experience of 400 years of peace to our region. Together, anything is possible.”
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took Russia’s side in a growing spat with the US, slamming US President Joe Biden who is widely hated by Turkey’s ruling party.
He claimed that Biden’s recent comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin were unacceptable and “not fitting of a president.”
This isn’t just because of the tone of Biden’s comments, in which Biden called Putin a “killer.” Turkey’s president and regime often lashes out at other countries and leaders, belittling and threatening them with insults.
The messaging from Ankara is that Russia and Turkey are growing together as allies and partners. They work together in Syria, Libya and the Caucasus; their goal is to supplant US influence and divide up many areas of the Middle East between themselves.
They seek to control violence in these areas. For instance, Turkey got the Syrian rebels, who were fighting the Russian-backed Syrian regime, to change their course and fight Kurds so the Syrian regime could prosper. Then Turkey shipped the rebels to fight elsewhere to weaken the rebellion. Ten years after the start of the Syrian conflict, it is mostly Turkey that is responsible for sidelining the rebellion.
Now, enter Iran.
Iran, Turkey and Russia have worked together in the Astana process since 2017 to manage Syria – and they exclude the US. Zarif’s trip to Istanbul is just one of many in which Turkish and Iranian counterparts work together and demonstrate their warm connections.