Turkey's work on Iran nuclear deal shows emerging diplomatic power
While the US has continued to press for UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Turkey's high-profile role in brokering a nuclear deal with Tehran is just the latest sign of an emerging diplomatic power.
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Within hours, though, the deal was in doubt. The US said it had the support of all the permanent members of the United Nation's Security Council for a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. It was a diplomatic slap at Turkey.
Davutoglu said talk of sanctions was premature because the deal with Iran had created an “important psychological threshold” of trust. “Negotiations with Iran are tough. In fact, chess is a game that was invented in Iran,” he stated. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said there was “no chance” new sanctions would pass.
But whatever the outcome, Turkey's high-profile role in Iran nuclear negotiations is in keeping with an increasingly robust foreign policy that stretches from Congo to Russia to Latin America and seeks to include everything in between. Davutoglu is a key architect of NATO ally Turkey’s broadening influence, which includes a “zero problems with neighbors" policy.
“This is a beautiful symptom of Turkey’s overall foreign policy: build as many networks as possible and put themselves in the middle,” says Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
“History is flowing, and we are trying not only to be a country in the river, but also one that steers that river,” Davutoglu told Turkey’s NTV channel. Over the weekend, the foreign minister hosted a five-star conference in Istanbul about Turkish foreign policy and the “global order” in the 21st century, at which Davutoglu spelled out Turkey’s ambitions for 90 minutes.