Monday, August 02, 2004

Turks.US - Problem with Iran can's be solved easily

Turks.US - Problem with Iran can's be solved easily: "Problem with Iran can's be solved easily

By Gunay Simsek

�Before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan�s visit to Iran I talked to officials doing preliminary work on Turkish-Iranian relations. My questions were about issues like the developments in reducing the price of Iranian natural gas and the management of the Imam Humeyni International Airport.

The answer was that Erdogan�s visit would determine these issues, but the problems remained there as he returned from Iran.

Erdogan�s statement that the natural gas from Turkmenistan would be exported through the Caspian Sea with a pipeline parallel to the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan main oil export pipeline, could have disappointed Tehran. Iran categorizes its relations and behaves accordingly. In other words we shouldn�t keep away from Iran just because the US or other countries would make a response, but we also shouldn�t forget that it�s Iran. The real problem is that former governments which signed agreements with Iran didn�t make the details clear. Tehran doesn�t reduce the prices and delays Turkish investment in the country.

I already wrote that Turkey should be more sensitive in its relations with Iran, that the relations should be further developed and that the problems couldn�t be solved on ministers� level. The result is clear and it should be seen as a beginning. Besides, we will also see how this visit will influence the balance in the region, the Kurdish-Jewish relations and US strategies in Iraq.� "


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