On April 3-4, not long before the USA, Britain and France conducted airstrikes in Syria, presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Ankara to discuss the solution to the Syrian conflict. The talks were held without any representatives of the USA and some western media claimed that Moscow, Ankara and Teheran isolated the USA from the most important diplomatic processes in the region. Senior Researcher at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), Dr. Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, however, thinks that isolation of the USA was the result of its own strategical mistakes. «Eurasia.Expert» asked Dr. Mousavi about the details of the summit in Ankara, the topic of the next summit (to be held in Teheran) and the pressure the USA exerts on Russia, Turkey and Iran.
- Dr. Mousavi, what are your thoughts on the results of the Ankara summit?
- I think this tripartite summit and the meeting between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey is important on regional and international level. This meeting also has bilateral importance for these three countries. I think the main issue discussed was how to settle Syria and how to stabilize the situation.
But at the same time there was an important meeting between president Putin and president Erdoğan about their bilateral relations. They have many different agreements, different projects that they open. Both sides reached agreements on a significant issue about energy, military cooperation, and how to deliver the Russian-made S-400 missile to Turkey.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdoğan also launched the construction of the first nuclear plant in Turkey. There was another meeting between president Rouhani and president Putin and talks about bilateral issues as well as about regional and international development, especially about what is happening in our region. Iran and Tukey also had their bilateral negotiation. I can conclude that this meeting between three countries holds great importance.
- After the summit some western media wrote that Russia, Iran and Turkey isolated the USA in Syria. What do you think about it?
- Isolation of the US in the region is not the goal of Iran-Turkey-Russian cooperation. It is the result of the strategy of the US as well as many mistakes that the US has done in this regard.
In the beginning of the Syrian crisis the US supported terroristic groups against the government of Syria. Then the government of Syria was able to defeat the terroristic groups. The development of the situation will be the isolation of the US. I think it was a big mistake by the US.
- By the way, after the summit in Ankara there was a chemical attack in the city of Duma in the Eastern Ghouta with dozens of victims. What forces are responsible for this attack?
- It is not clear. To say who is responsible for that is not an easy task, experts form OPCW (organization for prohibition of chemical weapons) need to go there and inspect the situation. Then, according to what they say we can tell what exactly happened. We know that Russian representative in SC UN said that Moscow is ready to secure the visit of the inspectors to these places, but they do not do this. I think this is a claim.
- Russia managed to bring together such historical rivals as Iran and Turkey. Considering their different position on a wide scope of problems how was it made possible? How did they manage to find common ground in the Syrian question?
- I cannot say that it was Russia that put Iran and Turkey at the negotiation table. I think that the decision to come together and hold a triple negotiation was based on the will of the three countries. These three countries had and have very good bilateral relations. They have different ideas about the Syrian issue. If you look at the relation between Iran and Turkey, Russia and Turkey – in all aspects they have good relations. Yet after some time they found that they have different views about Syria. But stability, peace and territorial integrity of Syria is a parallel interest for all of them. So in this category they assemble all together and try to find a way how to settle the situation in Syria.
- The next round of Syrian talks will be held in Teheran. What are your expectations about it?
- The next talks about Syria will be like previous ones. There will be no change because the agenda of these talks is clear, it is about Syria, it is about how to guarantee the territorial integrity, unity and peace and security in Syria. I think the next round will be the same.
- The West exerts more and more pressure on Russia, Turkey and Iran. How do you think they should interact in the fight against the USA?
- Yes, the US is increasing pressure on Iran, Russia, and Turkey, but from different dimensions. I think that this pressure is not the same for each country. Do not forget that Turkey is a member of NATO and one of the man armies in NATO military is the army of Turkey.
Turkey is the ally of the US, but as for the issue of Syria, Turkey has a special security interest and national interest in the region. In this regard Turkey reached a conclusion that Iran and Russia can better guarantee Turkish interests in the southern parts of Turkey. I do not think that Turkey, Russia and Iran gather to fight against the US. Never, it is not true. These three countries gather in a very specific and transparent category.