Is a Deal with Iran Bad for Turkey?

January 21, 2014 Topic: Global Governance Region: IranTurkey

Is a Deal with Iran Bad for Turkey?

In the short term, it's a big opportunity. But in the long term, it could be a challenge.

The agreement signed in Geneva may ultimately prove a great boon to Turkey, further opening a giant market to the east and reducing tensions between its largest ally and its largest neighbor. Yet, there is also a possibility that such an agreement could signal the ascendance of Iran as a major rival for regional power and global influence likely to challenge Turkey’s strategic advantages. Turkey’s leaders should no longer assume that theirs is the only game in town and should consider that if they have other potential friends in the region, so too do the US and Europe.

Kemal Kirişci is the TUSIAD Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings, in Washington, DC. Rob Keane is a research assistant with the Managing Global Order project at Brookings.

[1]Turkey currently hosts approximately 80 American tactical nuclear warheads as part of a NATO sharing program. From 1961 to 1963, Turkey hosted American nuclear-armed Jupiter missiles.