What Turkey Seeks to Gain from Meeting with Iran and Russia

July 27 2022

While Israel and Turkey have been making progress in their efforts at reconciliation, last week the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the presidents of Iran—the most dangerous enemy of the Jewish state—and of Russia, Iran’s major patron. The summit, held in Tehran, thus raises serious doubts in both Jerusalem and Washington about whether any kind of productive relationship with Erdogan is possible. But Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak notes that Ankara has many serious differences with both Tehran and Moscow, and backs the enemies of both countries in Iraq, in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, and above all in Syria:

Turkey’s military penetration in Syria creates a massive headache for Iran. Turkey and Iran are fighting a proxy war in the country. While Turkey backs the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that sought to overthrow the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and remove Russian forces from the country, Iran backs Assad and local Shiite elements. Turkey has [provided] active support to the FSA from the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. In 2016, Turkey became a belligerent [itself].

Turkey’s mending of ties with Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and even, to some extent, Egypt serves to isolate Tehran further and retaliate for the terrorist attack attempted against Israelis in Turkey [last month].

Despite Iran’s apparent attempt to violate Turkey’s sovereignty in Istanbul, the centuries-long Turkish-Iranian diplomatic tradition dictated that Ankara respectfully receive the Iranian foreign minister. In other words, . . . Ankara [is keeping] its friends close but its enemy closer.

Read more at JNS

More about: Iran, Israel diplomacy, Russia, Turkey

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada