Before discussing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Iran summit, let us take a look at the “circumstances and conditions.” Our minds may wander off to the prospective operation in Syria. Let us clean the slate first, everything will all fall into place anyway.
Iran is the hottest topic. Washington shared with the global public the intelligence that Russia and Iran are about to strike a deal on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The technical aspect of this news is how these weapons will be used in Ukraine, and against which U.S. systems they were built. However, the political message was the region prior to the U.S. president’s visit – mostly to Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf/Arab countries.
Essentially, the “Middle East NATO” matter, which was blown up before the visit, can also be included under the same headline. The Saudi Arabian foreign minister openly brushing off the project is “another matter.”
Briefly, the U.S. gifted a “scarecrow” to the region, to Iran and Russia, ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s tour. It doesn’t seem like anybody was shaken with fear, but they tried. It appears that the countries in the region and, in fact, capitals in a broader area, did not really follow the U.S. idea to “reorganize.”
The U.S. failed to get “exactly” what it wanted in response to its “Middle East NATO” cunningness or its demand to "increase fuel production,” which is critical for the West. The first was quickly eliminated, while the second was given to them a little “out of charity.”
Meanwhile, with respect to unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), if Moscow and Tehran do strike a deal, it will have a different meaning. Their relations will be promoted to a higher level! It will send a message to the region, the U.S., and Israel, and, to an extent, to Türkiye. Once these war machines start being used in Ukraine, it will present the image of an “alliance” fighting in Europe! In brief, Iran will become a “special” partner for Russia. (The oil-gas deal reported to be signed between Iran and Gazprom yesterday, the biggest in the country’s history, is also a clue.)
Essentially, any country that will back Russia in such a way – China and then Türkiye might be the first countries to come to mind – will certainly pick its place on the front. Of course, Türkiye will not jump at this. Though the F-16 issue was an American game, neither Russia would request such a thing, nor would Türkiye accept it. But it still comes to mind.
We are discussing these while the summit is the subject in question, because Iran’s relations with the West are stagnating in the quagmire of nuclear negotiations, and we thus understand that Tehran wants to further pursue the West. This presents it with an advantage in the region and in the eyes of its “supporters.” It understands the roughly drawn Middle East map and will be active in improving relations with its neighbors.
Furthermore, the line from East to West remains the same. Iran-China relations, Iran-Russia relations meet. We already know that Iran made an official application to join BRICS.
In addition, BRICS International Forum President Purnima Anand’s statement along the lines of, “Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are planning to join BRICS” – whether you take it seriously or not – cannot be disregarded. Besides, who is to say “Ankara cannot join BRICS,” because “nobody knows” our intention!
Now, the West leg of the summit...
The Ukraine war and the sanctions posed on Russia are falling apart. In fact, the tables are turning around. Moscow is near producing geopolitical outcomes in its favor.
When Russia was speaking at the recent G20 Foreign Ministers summit, the U.S. secretary turned and left. Then, last weekend the G20 Treasury and Finance Ministers summit was held. Let alone undermining his Russian counterpart, the U.S. secretary listened to his every word. This is what it comes down to. The U.S. did not achieve the result it was seeking from the summit anyway. Everyone sidestepped.
The U.S. can’t ignore these either. Therefore, it not only avoids posing new sanctions that will hassle Europe, but it is also relaxing existing ones. Dismissing the finance groups and insurance companies for the grain corridor, which Türkiye put in great effort, is just one of these. It seems like the U.S. will retreat further.
Political developments are telling as well. We saw what happened in the U.K. government. Sure, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s scandals were effective, but the country’s economic fluctuation rocked the boat as well.
As for Italy, Rome’s prime minister said he was already contemplating resignation. The dilemmas of a vast coalition are clear. Additionally, the economic recession, as well as the cost of the Ukraine war are closing the horizon in this country.
Emmanuel Macron was elected in France, but he is weak. We saw the parliament’s state. He will remain in office, but his hands and feet will be tied. France’s view of the U.S. and NATO, as well as the war/Russia, is obvious.
The situation in Europe’s heart, Germany, is no different: The energy crisis, the deficits, inflation, and unemployment, all a first in the history of its economy, and the disagreements with its coalition partners. In fact, the unscrupulousness of the Greens is unbelievable. Moreover, the public does not support its foreign policy.
Germany is in no state to save the EU, but the U.S. is in no state to save Germany either. It is most likely unable to save its own administration. Washington sees everything, but there isn’t much it can do.
This is the atmosphere in which the three countries will meet. We first want to take care of the operation. Türkiye will take care of that anyway. We have the power to conduct it even in the worst case that they “object.”
Yet, while the world is in this state, shouldn’t the results of this summit address the big picture as well? Forget the chatter on our side. The figures in a small picture are always stick figures. The important thing is to be able to say something about the big picture!
(This column was written before the summit started. I hope the parties of the summit can carry on the Iran summit at Astana.)