Erdogan in Tehran : Iran is Second Home

January 29, 2014
            On January 29, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran to strengthen bilateral economic ties and ease tensions over the Syrian crisis. Erdogan made the trip amidst a sweeping corruption probe that has led to the arrest of dozens of businessmen and politicians allegedly associated with him. Iran is “like a second home,” Erdogan told Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (below). “A preferential commercial agreement was of utmost importance. I am very pleased to sign it,” he said during a press conference with Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. Iranian television reported that Erdogan signed three trade deals.
      Erdogan also announced that Ankara reached an agreement with Tehran on fighting terrorism in Syria. Both countries are concerned with the growth of extremist Sunni groups there, some of which are affiliated with al Qaeda.
      But Ankara and Tehran have otherwise taken opposing positions on the Syrian conflict. Iran has supported President Bashar al Assad while Turkey has urged him to step down. And Ankara has reportedly supported the opposition and provided refuge to rebels. The following are excerpted remarks from Erdogan’s visit.
 
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
            “Today we had a good chance to review bilateral ties… I would like to mention specifically, and to express my satisfaction with, the agreement we signed in the preferential trade field. It is obvious that we import from Iran crude oil and gas, which are strategic energy sources, and we [will be] able to increase the volume of these imports.
 “We reached an agreement with Iran to fight terrorism.”
            Jan. 29, 2014 in a joint press conference with Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri
 

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri
            “We have taken concrete decisions to bolster bilateral relations between the two countries. We have reached a nice agreement on natural gas exports. We believe that the visit by the Turkish prime minister will be cornerstone in bilateral relations and it will help improve ties between the two countries.”
            Jan. 29, 2014 in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
 
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Marzieh Afkham
            “Our relations with Turkey have entered a new phase and we hope this trend continues. Besides serving the interests of the two countries, we hope our dialogue (with Turkey) serve regional interests as well. As two neighbors and Muslim countries, Iran and Turkey enjoy many commonalities and many cooperation opportunities.”
            Jan. 29, 2014 in remarks to the press
 
Click here for more info on Iran’s relations with Turkey.
 
Photo credits: President.ir