Daily Israel Report

It's Official: Turkey and Iran are Friends

According to reports, Iran will no longer be considered Turkey’s enemy and the two countries will work together. UN/US sanctions ignored.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/26/2010, 3:34 AM / Last Update: 8/26/2010, 3:29 AM

Flash 90

Amid concerns by Western countries of the warming of ties between Turkey and Iran, both of  them Moslem but non Arab countries, it appears as though relations between the two countries are becoming stabilized.

On Monday, Turkey daily newspaper Milliyet reported that Turkey will remove Iran from a watchlist of nations it considers a specific threat to its national security. A security review expected to be adopted in October will no longer refer to Iran as a "specific threat", said the newspaper and added that a previous edition of the review published five years ago placed Iran on the threat list.

Furthermore, Iran’s Press TV news channel reported on Monday that Turkey and Iran may build two petrochemical units together. One unit, according to the report, will be in the industrial hub of Assaluyeh in southern Iran, while a second petrochemical plant that can produce 539,000 tons of petrochemical products annually would be constructed in Miyandoab in western Azerbaijan.

Abdolhossein Bayat, managing director of National Iranian Petrochemical Co., told Press TV that businesses from Oman, Indonesia, Malaysia, Venezuela, Russia and South Africa have shown interest in cooperating with Iran in the development of these petrochemical products.

Iran is currently under a set of international sanctions, both by the UN and by the United States. On June 9, the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which include a ban on Iran's purchasing heavy weapons such as attack helicopters and missiles.

The US sanctions on Iran, approved several weeks after the UN sanctions, penalize companies that sell gasoline to Iran or that do business with the Revolutionary Guard Corp.

Turkey’s relations with Iran are worrying to western countries and in particular the US. Turkey voted against the UN sanctions in June, and at the same time relations between Turkey and Israel have been tense following the May 31 raid by IDF on the Mavi Marmara on which there were members of Turkish organization IHH. Turkey has demanded a full Israeli apology for the raid on the flotilla which left 13 dead after having taken sail from Turkey's shores.

Last week it was reported that US President Barack Obama warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that if his country wants to purchase United States weapons, it must change its foreign affairs policy regarding both Israel and Iran. Both the US and Turkey denied this report.