image Article: Understanding the AKP’s Regional Policy: An Iranian Perspective  

Mirghasem Banihashemi

Abstract

This article studies the Justice and Development Party’s new regional policy, as well as the revision of this policy after Arab world developments and its impact on Turkish-Iranian relations. The author first reviews the principles of Turkey’s new regional policy and their impacts on the expansion of Turkish-Iranian relations. Then, the impact of Turkey's way of reaction to the Arab Revolutions, in particular, that of the Syrian crisis, on Turkish- Iranian relations will be reviewed. The hypothesis of the article is that following the Syrian crisis, when Erdoğan’s government was disappointed from receiving Iran’s support in order to topple Bashar al-Assad regime, it revised its “security and economy drive” of regional policy fundamentally. Not only did this ideological and strategic rethinking influence the expanded and developing relations of Iran and Turkey, but it also created tensions in bilateral relations. In the end, the author concludes that Erdoğan’s government has turned the Syrian crisis into an opportunity forchanging regional equations and strengthening Turkey’s position. Bashar al-Assad’s overthrow could increase tensions in the regional relations of Iran and Turkey and change the balance of power in the region against Iran.


Discourse: An Iranian Quarterly,Vol. 10, Nos. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2012.


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