Turkey and Iran have been forced into a closer military relationship as a result of last week’s independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.
October 03, 2017
In the wake of last week’s independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran and Turkey announced they will start coordinating on military activities.
The Washington Times reported:
Iran and Turkey on Monday said they were stepping up military cooperation, including large-scale war games and counterterrorism operations, in the wake of Iraqi Kurdistan’s historic independence referendum vote.
Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Baqeri and Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar announced the plans during a press conference in Tehran. Gen. Akar is also expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his visit Monday, which comes days before Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travels to Tehrani.
“We held talks on the common threats [Iran and Turkey], and also on the referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region with an emphasis on the maintenance of Iraq’s integrity and rejection of the referendum,” Gen. Baqeri told reporters Monday in Tehran.
Turkey being a NATO member creates a very sticky situation for the U.S. in its efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. Iran still holds rallies in which the government openly calls for “Death to America,” and Turkey is bound by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty to come to the defense of the U.S. should it be attacked.
In this case, however, both Iran and Turkey face their own domestic problems created by the Kurdistan votes. Both have relatively large minority populations of Kurds within their own borders.