Iran 'happy' about dialogue between Turkey and Syria -foreign minister
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday his country was glad to see a rapprochement between its ally Syria and Turkey, amid reports that said the Shia regime looked suspiciously to an agreement that could reduce its influence in its neighbor.
"We are happy with the dialogue taking place between Syria and Turkey, and we believe that it will reflect positively between the two countries," said Amirabdollahian, during a diplomatic visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Turkey, Syria and Russia aimed to schedule a meeting of their foreign ministers this month and possibly before the middle of next week, though no date or location has yet been chosen.
The Russian, Syrian, and Turkish defense ministers held previous talks in December in the Russian capital, Moscow, to discuss means of resolving the Syrian crisis, the former's defense ministry said.
The absence of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the spotlight as Russia moved forward to bring Turkey and Syria closer together was pronounced carefully on Monday by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasseer Kanaani who said: “Iran has always insisted on a political solution and not a military solution, and it insists on this position regarding Syria.”
But according to analysts, Iran could be satisfied if the conflict in Syria ended:
“Tehran would be content and relieved so long as the burgeoning talks between Turkey and Syria serve its interests, which are keeping the Assad regime in power and Syria’s territorial integrity intact as well as curbing, and possibly ending, Turkey’s military presence in the country,” Dr. Gulriz Sen, an expert on Turkey-Iran relations from the TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara, told Arab News.
Hamidreza Azizi, visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs agrees:
“In the past, Iran itself offered mediation between Damascus and Ankara, but it proved unsuccessful. Although Russian mediation for Syria and Turkey marginalized Iran to a certain extent, it is still in line with Tehran’s interests for the region.”
Nevertheless, Iran still insists it is still in the game, even from a distance. The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that President Ebrahim Raisi will soon be visiting Turkey and Syria.