Det falt ikke i god jord i Washington at Tyrkia sammen med Brasil lanserte et initiativ for anriking av iransk uran i utlandet. Ankara gikk utenom Sikkerhetsrådet, på et tidspunkt da USA forsøker å samle rådet til nye sanksjoner mot Iran.
USA opplevde det som at Tyrkia gikk bak ryggen på USA. Iran forpliktet seg ikke til noe, men kunne når som helst tilbakekalle sin uran og beholdt dessuten mye. Avtalen var uforpliktende, og Iran ønsket tydeligvis å komme USA i forkjøpet. Slik sett hjalp Ankara Iran.
Tyrkia har tatt mål av seg til å bli en regional spiller. Tilfellet Iran viser hvordan det klæsjer med rollen som pålitelig alliert med USA og medlem av NATO.
Ankara mightily irritated the big powers last week by brokering a uranium exchange deal with Iran.
The United States was not pleased that Turkey, with support from Brazil, bypassed the United Nations. There was nothing in the deal about Iran suspending its uranium enrichment program — the most disputed issue between Iran and the United States. Washington suspects that Iran is pursuing the enrichment program to produce nuclear weapons.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton swiftly sidestepped Turkey’s initiative by announcing that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany had agreed to seek a new round of sanctions against Tehran.
Her remarks were a blow to Turkey’s pride. They also exposed the hurdles Ankara faces in implementing a new foreign policy that seeks to resolve disputes with its neighbors — Iraq, Armenia, Syria and Iran. That policy, known as zero problems, is also about moving Turkey out of the shadow of the United States, its traditional ally, making it a regional player on its own terms. Iran was the first high-profile test of that strategy.
«Turkey is trying to become a major player in the region, which means it has to rebalance its relationship with the U.S.,» said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the Ankara office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. «In the case of Iran, Turkey does not want a U.S. or Israeli strike. It does not want sanctions. Turkey knows that sanctions did not work against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 1990s.»