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Will Turkey and Iran find common ground in Iraq?

Developments in Iraq, coming soon after a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Turkey, might be forcing a change in Turkey's approach to jihadist groups.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) greets the audience as he and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul arrive at a meeting in Ankara June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3T167
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s high-profile visit to Turkey June 9-10 aimed essentially to boost economic ties, as was evident from his being accompanied by the ministers of economy, oil, transportation and telecommunications along with the central bank governor and some 100 businessmen. Events in Iraq — i.e., the advances made by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) as well as the raid on Turkey’s Mosul consulate and the taking of 49 hostages, including the consul general, by ISIS — now have the potential to also push Ankara and Tehran closer politically than in recent years.

It is no secret that Turkey and Iran are at odds over Syria, not to mention other issues, and have been engaged in what amounts to a proxy war, supporting opposing factions in that country’s sectarian civil war. The picture may be changing, however, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad consolidating his power in regions under his control, while jihadist groups establish themselves in parts of northern Syria along the Turkish border as well as Iraq’s Nineveh province.

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