Turkey’s relations with Iran strained over Caucasus
Turkey has been expanding its influence in the Caucasus at Iran’s expense, leading to growing tensions between the two neighbours, Dorian Jones wrote for Radio France Internationale on Saturday.
Iran’s role in the region has been downsized as Turkey and Israel build stronger military ties with Azerbaijan and Russia asserts its primacy, Chatham House’s Galip Dalay told Jones.
Tehran’s response has been to hold talks with Armenia, and carry out army exercises at its border with Azerbaijan in October for the first time in decades, Jones said.
In response, Turkey held joint exercises with Azerbaijan across the border, he added. Ankara is also growing its relations with Pakistan, which shares a border with Iran.
Iran perceives Pakistan’s cooperation with Turkey as a Sunni threat, according to Caucasus expert Zaur Gasimov.
However, the Iranian economy relies on trade with Turkey, and as such, Ankara is able to take a robust stance against Tehran, Jones said.