Mediation between Armenia & Turkey multi-dimensional gain for Iran

HYE-TERT, Turkey
July 27 2008


Yer: Armenia
Tarih: 27.7.2008

While Turkey has intensified its mediation efforts in the Middle East,
Iran has volunteered to take on a similar challenge to break the ice
between Ankara and Yerevan. `The possibility of such an initiative by
Iran is highly optimistic,’ Arif Keskin, a specialist on Iran at the
Eurasian Strategic Research Center, or ASAM. Explaining that a
possible mediation would be a multi-dimensional gain for Iran, Keskin
said this is what has likely driven the country to make such an
attempt. `Iran is the sole country rescuing Armenia from its isolation
within the region. Armenia is currently under geopolitical siege,
surrounded by countries like Turkey and Azerbaijan with whom it has
long-standing problems.’ `For Iran, Armenia has major strategic
importance as well,’ he said. `Iran wants to establish good relations
with non-Turkish elements in the region, especially with Armenia. Its
Azeri minority is a major concern. Therefore to alienate Turkey from
Azerbaijan through an Armenian-Turkish reconciliation would be to its
benefit,’ he said. `Iran could not solve the problems between Turkey
and Armenia. Moreover it is not clear how sincere Ankara is for a
rapprochement with Yerevan. The establishment in Turkey does not want
any change in bilateral relations,’ he said. `Previous mediation
efforts by Iran between Azerbaijan and Armenia resulted in Baku’s
losing territory. It is disputable how impartial Iran can be, or to
whose advantage it would work. It is unlikely that it would defend the
Turkish thesis against Armenia,’ he said. `Iran wants to give the
message to the West that it can act within their parameters, that it
is a stability factor in the region, not vice versa,’ said Keskin. He
said, however, that the initiative raises many questions in terms of
Turkey. `I do not think that it was Ankara who asked for such a move
from Iran. Turkey is disturbed by the depth of Iran-Armenia
relations. Therefore it is definitely Iran’s own initiative.’
According to Keskin, the Turkish government has to explain itself
publicly in terms of its recent relations with Iran. `It is not just
this mediation effort. Let’s take Ahmedinejad’s planned visit for
example. What could Turkey gain from the visit of such a radical
figure? Sure AKP (Justice and Development Party) would have gains in
domestic terms. But it is a very risky visit otherwise,’ he added, the
Turkish Daily News reports.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS