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Saudi media’s effort to derail Astana process

Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

Iran and Turkey are two neighbors with extensive political, economic and cultural ties that have strengthened Tehran-Ankara relations.

Sometimes, though, the policies of the two countries differ on a particular issue. It is natural that a government official or the media of the two countries criticize the policy of the other side on a particular issue, which is one of the signs of democracy and freedom of expression.

One of the cases recently criticized by Iranian officials and media was Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, codenamed by Turkey as Operation Peace Spring.

Following the criticizes the Turkish President Erdogan on Tuesday also said that he was upset by some statements by Iranian media on Ankara’s offensive in Syria. “Various statements are unfortunately coming from Iran. But they don’t come from Rouhani. Mr. Rouhani should better force them to keep silence,” Erdogan stated.

The Astana peace process was launched in January 2017 by Russia, Iran, and Turkey aimed at ending the Syrian conflict. Since then good cooperation between the three countries has had many positive results in restoring peace and security in Syria.

Saudi Arabia and its American allies as main sponsors of terrorists in the region have been following their illegal interests via creating a rift among regional states. Since close cooperation between Iran and Turkey during the past three years has foiled US-Saudi-Zionist plots for the region, they have spared no efforts to derail the stabilizing cooperation of Iran, Russia, and Turkey.

Recent differences between Tehran and Ankara over Turkey’s military operation in the north of Syria has created an opportunity for some Saudi media to portray the natural differences of the two partners as the collapse of the alliance between Iran and Turkey and Astana process.

Regarding the rumors and misinterpretations made mainly by Saudi media, Dr. Bilgehan Alagoz, a lecturer at Istanbul Marmara University’s Institute for Middle East Studies, believes that rumors about the death of the Iranian-Turkish alliance in Syria are a bit exaggerated, at least for now.

Alagoz believes Iran is hesitant about possible cooperation between Turkey and the US, which may harm Iran’s interests in Syria.

According to Alagoz, at this point, Iran will pursue diplomacy with Turkey and Russia, therefore differences between Iran and Turkey will not continue for a long time.

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