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Iran Threatens Turkey Over Missile Shield

Threats are not the way to deal with Turkey; Iran is the latest country to make this mistake.  Mustafa Akyol reports in the Turkish English language paper Daily News that an Iranian official has warned that if the US or Israel attack Iran, Iran will retaliate against missile sites in Turkey.

Nothing could be better calculated to deepen Turkish hostility to Iran as the two countries prepare to duel for influence in Syria and Iraq — both formerly part of the Ottoman Empire and coveted for centuries by Persian rulers.  We live in a strange world; first Israeli diplomatic clumsiness and ineptitude drives the Turks toward Iran, then the Iranians drive them back.

Via Meadia thinks Turkey deserves better than this — and we know the Turks react badly to bullies and threats.  Iran is in an increasingly tight spot: isolated and on the defensive regionally, with sanctions biting harder by the day.

Worth remembering when American commentators wax hyperbolic about our latest foreign policy misstep: the other side makes mistakes, too.  Lots of them.

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  • Kris

    “the other side makes mistakes, too”

    And let us not forget Turkey’s mistakes. They chose to turn on their long-time partner Israel and throw in with Iran.

  • Cunctator

    I am not sure why anyone thinks Turkey “deserves” anything. They have not been a good ally for some years and the continued Islamicisation of the country portends further bad tidings for the region’s stability. I can think of nothing better for Western interests than to see Ankara suddenly engaged in an increasingly difficult duel with Iran. It might deflate the Erdogan government’s assertiveness in dealing with a number of regional issues (including relations with Israel) and might, as a result, also force them to be a more useful ally to the West. Dealing with Ankara could also be a major preoccupation for Teheran, and that is also very useful to us. (Very similar to events five centuries ago, by the way.) This development is, therefore, a win-win situation for us.

  • Kenny

    So …. “Turks react badly to bullies and threats.”

    What is left unsaid here is that the Turks themselves are major bullies, especially now that they’re becoming more and more Islamized.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    You sure have a soft spot for the Turks, here they are culturally backsliding as they tear up Atatürk’s design, and you think their problems are of foreign manufacture. It is Islamic Hate that is setting them against Israel, it’s sectarian hate Sunni vs. Shiite in Syria, Iraq, and Iran that is driving the foreign policy there.
    I also think the Turkish military is not what it once was, thousands of their officers have resigned or been arrested, and those that remain are political animals not soldiers. Which reminds me of Iran after the fall of the Shah, when Iran was reduced to human wave attacks in the Iran Iraq war. If I was the Turks, I would avoid rattling a saber that was rusted tight in its scabbard. But, they are probably too ate up with the Islamic [idiots] to even recognize their weakness. I think there is a good chance of miscalculation in the region that leads to a war between nations. The competition to fill the powervacuume left by the US withdrawl, is just throwing fuel on the fire.

  • nadine

    “We live in a strange world; first Israeli diplomatic clumsiness and ineptitude drives the Turks toward Iran, then the Iranians drive them back.”

    You make it sound like the break was the Israelis’ fault. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Erdogan and his government are Islamists who jettisoned the alliance with Israel and took the terrorists of Hamas under their wing for Islamist ideological reasons. That is the same reason Turkey has been running overtly anti-Semitic programming like Valley of the Wolves on TV and sent terrorists disguised as humanitarian protesters to run the Gaza blockade and try to kill Israelis commandos.

    Israel may have been taken unawares by the virulence of the attacks it has received in recent years from its former ally Turkey. But blaming Israeli diplomatic clumsiness for the break is blaming the victim for the mugging. Israel’s only “offense” against Turkey was defending itself against the rockets Hamas fired into its cities.

  • Jonathan Rosenblum

    I find it almost impossible to disagree with anything WRM writes, but the suggestion that it was Israeli diplomatic ineptitude, rather than Erdogan’s desire to reposition himself as a leader of the Muslim world, that caused Turkey to end its close ties with Israel, strikes me as far-fetched indeed. Secretary of Defense Panetta, in his speech at the Saban Institute, repeated the same myth that Turkey was driven from Israel’s arms by a lack of Israeli solicitude. Again, that suggestion fails to take into account Erdogan’s ambition to return Turkey to its former eminence within the Muslim world, an ambition that cannot be reconciled with warm ties to Israel.

  • WigWag

    Saudi Arabia just beheaded a woman for the crime of witchcraft and sorcery. It seems that there is a unit of the Saudi religious police, “the anti-witchcraft unit” that actually runs a “sorcery hotline” so that claims can be filed anonymously.

    More information can be found here,,0

    How long will it be before Turkey starts beheading witches? How long before Erdogan implements his own version of the “anti-sorcery hotline?”

    Mead may be right that Turkey, the United States and Israel share many of the same interests even if political relations between Turkey and Israel have reached a new low. Sometimes politics makes strange bedfellows, but is that any reason for Professor Mead to close his nose to the stench wafting its way from Ankara?

    Why is it so hard for Professor Mead to acknowledge the perfidy of Erdogan and his fellow Islamist cronies?

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