Why Turkey May at Last Be Ready to Mend Fences with Israel

The Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s visit to Ankara this week is not the first time Turkey and Israel have attempted reconciliation. While those previous efforts achieved little, Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak sees reason for cautious optimism for the simple reason that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist Turkish president who bears the brunt of responsibility for the rupture, now genuinely desires rapprochement. Playing a key role in this shift is the United Arab Emirates, which, like the Jewish state, takes umbrage at Erdogan’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas.

Facing the erosion of the Turkish lira and the lack of foreign investors, Ankara was forced last November to normalize its relations with the United Arab Emirates. The emirates, recognizing Ankara’s economic weakness, were quick to announce a $10 billion investment in the Turkish market. In doing so, Abu Dhabi in effect procured the turning point in Turkish foreign policy towards it—and demanded that Ankara abandon its contrarian foreign policy, which also contradicts the spirit of the Abraham Accords.

Over the last two weeks, Turkey, like other countries, has been appalled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This made it appreciate the fact it is part of the NATO alliance, of which it was dismissive in the past. The war in Ukraine will probably see Ankara return to the traditional pro-Western foreign policy we saw during the cold war.

These circumstances mean that this is the first time in the history of bilateral relations that Israel has the upper hand. This means that Jerusalem must make the most of this momentum while not relenting on principles such as demanding that Hamas terrorists be expelled from Turkey. We must also make it clear to Erdogan that Jerusalem is closely monitoring the aggressive, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel public discourse in Turkey, and any attempt to delegitimize Israel will be considered a serious breach of trust between the two countries.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Abraham Accords, Isaac Herzog, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

 

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy