In the Middle East, Longtime Rivals Try a Temporary Alliance

MIN READAug 18, 2017 | 22:10 GMT

Though far from fast friends, Turkey and Iran have demonstrated a pragmatic willingness to work together on issues of mutual interest over the years. But their irreconcilable differences inevitably limit their cooperation.


Politics and war make for strange bedfellows, as Iran and Turkey can attest. The two countries, historically rivals, are laying aside some of their differences to focus on common priorities: managing the Syrian civil war and slowing the Kurds' progress toward greater autonomy. A delegation of Iranian military and foreign service officials, including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Mohammed Hussein Bagheri, visited Turkey this week to discuss these issues. The meeting, the first of its kind for Iran and Turkey since 1979, shed light on the opportunities for cooperation between the two regional powers. Nevertheless, their shared interests will only take them so far. Diverging views of how to manage instability in the Middle East are bound to create more conflict than concord between Iran and Turkey in the long run....

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