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Erdogan takes swipe at Iran

Observers are wondering why Erdogan is trying to drag Turkey into the region’s growing sectarian conflict.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference in Ankara June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3SXIL

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s penchant for alienating regional powers manifested itself again last week as he took an unprecedented swipe at Tehran over its involvement in Yemen and Iraq. Indicating that Iran’s attempt at regional domination is “intolerable,” Erdogan said Turkey is prepared to give logistical support to the Saudi-led military strikes against Yemen's Houthis, who are backed by Tehran.

The fact that he is due in Tehran on April 7 for an official visit makes Erdogan’s outburst even more intriguing. It was not immediately apparent whether this was the impulsive Erdogan the world has come to know, acting on his own again and putting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in a difficult situation diplomatically, or if he was signaling a change in Ankara’s traditional Iran policy.

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