Iranian-Turkish-Russian Triangle In Syria; Opportunities, Challenges and The Way Ahead

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Long before taking the form of modern nation-states, Iran, Russia, and Turkey had a long imperial history. All the three countries have in some periods experienced levels of Western influence, but none has been completely gone under the domination of the west and as such, the West has never recognized them as equal actors and independent centers of power in the international arena. During the Second World War, Turkey adopted a neutral stance; a position which was welcomed mostly by Germany and regarded as an unfavorable move by the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, Turkey defined itself as part of the Western bloc and a member of NATO, so that it actually became one of the countries at the first line of anti-Soviet front. Therefore, it could be said that the history of Russia/Soviet Union-Turkey relations presents us a kind of uneasy, sometimes unfriendly picture.


The history of Iran-Turkey relations however has been a bit different. Although the two Persian and Ottoman empires had a 150-year history of hostility, they later managed to replace the hostilities with a desire to pursue common goals and interests; a trend, which has continued over time, and despite the uneasy nature of bilateral relations at some periods, the two sides have been successful in avoiding any kind of confrontation. In the same vein, Iran-Russia relationship has always been a topic of hot debates, with bitter history of Tsarist Russia’s actions against Iran and a bilateral mistrust overshadowing the relations.

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