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Turkey, Iran, Iraq in shaky alignment against Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkey, Iran and Iraq have closed ranks over the independence vote in Iraqi Kurdistan, but how long can their partnership survive?

Whether Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence vote leads to statehood remains to be seen, but the referendum has led to other impressive things. Ankara today stands together with Tehran and Baghdad — the same neighbors it was slamming for “Persian expansionism” and sectarian policies yesterday. The trilateral front, driven by a shared fear of partition, is hailed as a new Saadabad Pact by some in the Turkish media — a reference to the 1937 nonaggression treaty between the three neighbors plus Afghanistan.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now Ankara’s No. 1 partner against Iraqi Kurdistan, less than a year after he sparred with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the Turkish military presence near Mosul and Abadi was told to “know his place” because he was below Erdogan’s “quality” and “level.”

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