The National Interest: "Iran is becoming one of the most powerful leaders in the Middle East."
The international analytical publication Middle East Online writes about the relations between Russia and Turkey against the background of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. After Ankara hit a Russian warplane over Syria in November last year, the countries have taken relatively cool positions in relation to each other. However, there is a risk that the diplomatic gulf between the states will become even deeper because of the aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on Tuesday to a ceasefire to stop the bloodshed of recent days, which has become the biggest since 1994. However, the different reactions of Moscow and Ankara show that the local conflict could escalate into a confrontation on a much larger scale. Turkey is openly on the side of Azerbaijan, strongly supporting its longtime ally and predicting the success of a military reconquest of the Nagorno-Karabakh region by Baku. Moscow, in turn, stands for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, while being a mediator in the talks between the two sides.
It is obvious that Russia is making every effort to ensure that the local military conflict in the region is successfully completed at the negotiating table. At the same time, Ankara is using the situation to strengthen its influence and ties with Azerbaijan. Turkey, unlike Russia, has no diplomatic relations with Armenia because of the age-old dispute over the mass killings of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, which Yerevan calls genocide. That is why the Republic of Turkey supports Azerbaijan, thus counteracting the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
According to international analysts, such behavior of Turkey is not due to a desire to ignite an even stronger regional dispute, as Ankara is well aware that a confrontation with Russia will lead to nothing, but by a desire to strengthen its position in the region, even at the price of diplomatic pressure.
The American edition of The National Interest wrote about Iran's foreign policy. Historically, Tehran's military strategy was based on deterring potential competitors. This is directly related to the fact that in the last two decades Iran has been the victim of aggression by the US, and this in turn affected Iran's military structure, by means of which the state was able to defend its territory from external threats at low cost.
In recent years, the number of potential geostrategic risks have reduced for Iran. European influence in the Middle East is almost invisible, Turkey is not a threat to Iran, because its foreign policy is not competitive, and the United States is changing its policy toward Tehran, trying to establish ties with the Republic. That is why Iran is becoming one of the most powerful leaders in the Middle East.
The current policy and strategic efforts of the Iranian government allow the state to influence the situation in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Strong relations with Russia provide Iran with economic and strategic support, and the deal on the Iranian nuclear program makes it possible to overcome the consequences of the Western sanctions over a short period of time. Due to strategic planning and energy independence Iran is able to secure its borders in the Middle East. The political influence of the country is steadily increasing, and it may be that Iran will be able to achieve a balance of power in the region.