Erdogan has made several major strategic mistakes. But the single biggest one, has been the downing of the Russian Jet. Until that moment, Russia was going to connect into Turkey’s pipelines to Europe to create a second source of supply to Europe outside of the Ukraine. But that plan is now shelved.
Feeling the heat from Turkey’s backing of ISIS, and Turkey’s alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar (to create a competing gas supply pipeline from those countries across Iraq and Syria) Iran surely has to back away from any involvement with Turkey. And a Russian move away from Turkey, has opened up major new opportunities for Iran. Iran could for example pipe its gas to Europe through Azerbaijan and then Russia – with Russian support and encouragement.
But just as important, Iran is now building a pipeline to India across Pakistan. And also building a major pipeline to China across Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It may now be more advantageous for Turkmenistan to connect into Iran’s pipeline to China (and to India) rather than to try to do it on its own.
Gas producers like Turkmenistan (like for example Uzbekistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, even Russia etc.) could easily connect into Iran’s domestic grid connecting the three major pipelines to each other. i.e. Turkmenistan could conceivably sell gas to Europe by supplying into Iran’s grid! Production and Distribution could, in effect, be separated. (Like the system in the U.S.). Iran could create more opportunity for other producers by offering access to its grid.
Turkey’s missteps have emboldened Iran, and helped create a strategic alliance between Iran, Russia and China – that did not exist before. This has also made Iran, the crossroads, the hub, the most valuable real estate to own.
With Azerbaijan’s oil petering out, and very limited natural gas resources, Azerbaijan has no choice but to align with Iran. Transit fees from Iranian gas is a potential life saver for Azerbaijan. And will inevitably completely undermine the “Turkish” route.
More importantly, with Russian gas supplies to Turkey being cut off, and limited Azeri supply availability, Turkey itself will have to buy gas from Iran at premium prices, or import gas from Qatar via ships. While Azeri gas has been priced at about $340 per mcm, Iranian gas is priced at $480. And Russian gas has never been priced much under Iran. So Turkey is looking at major energy cost increases, as well as serious losses in future transit fees as major suppliers route their pipelines – essentially around Turkey.
This is a huge strategic mistake for Turkey. Erdogan’s missteps will be very expensive for Turkey.
But its also a massive loss to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. Can they afford to be blocked out of the European market(s) by Iran and Russia? Their defeat in Syria (and Iraq) will have massive consequences on their future prosperity! Will they sit back and do nothing?
Isn’t Iran – correctly- aligning itself with China, India and Russia?
Will Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel be able to undermine this new strategic (energy) realignment in the region? Will U.S. come to their rescue and invade Iran?
It turns out, that Turkey has completely miscalculated Russia’s response to their proxy invasion of Syria. Assad, and the Russian base in Syria (on the Mediterranean had far more value for the Soviets than Turkey had ever imagined. They played into Russia paranoia and insecurities – that had been heightened by the situation in Ukraine and Crimea – at the wrong time.
Russia’s involvement in Syria has been a massive game changer. Will Turkey risk it all and invade Syria and take on Russia and Iran? Will Turkey be a sore loser? What will Israel do? What will Saudi Arabia do? Will Europe and U.S. sit on the sidelines and do nothing?
To be fair, it’s also important to recognize that the deaths of almost 500,000 Syrians and the creation of 4 million refugees is a sign of ruthless greed on the part of the Turks, who have shamelessly backed ISIS. This butchery has been a game changer too. The Turks have lost the battle – both physically on the battlefield, but also intellectually in the hearts and minds of the world.
As much as they have tried to contain the news, more and more details keep emerging. The death of journalists and filmmakers who have chronicled the brutality hasn’t stopped the world from figuring out who has been behind the butchery. If Assad is evil, the world has concluded that ISIS and its backers (namely, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel) are far worst. And this too, has spelled defeat for Erdogan.
What will happen next is unclear. Erdogan is in Saudi Arabia this week, to lick his wounds and figure out a path forward with the Saudi Princes. What are their options right now? Short of attacking Syria, Iraq, or Iran – directly what can they realistically do?
But, the facts on the ground are clear. Sanctions are gone. And Iran is building massive pipelines to the three largest global economic regions: China, India and Europe. Turkey might have been a path to Europe, but it can not link the three regions into a grid and offer suppliers like Turkmenistan or even Iraq – multiple buyers. Iran’s position as a hub is far superior to Turkey’s. And anyway, with Turkey’s debacle in Syria, it looks like plans are being made to completely circumvent the Turks.
Iran can outflank Turkey, and become the new energy hub. And, the Turks will simply have to sit back and watch it happen around them…and wonder how it all happened? (If they ask me how they lost their ticket to this train, I will show them a picture of the little Syrian boy that drowned on his way out of Syria as a refugee.) The Turks have been cold, heartless, ruthless, greedy and above all: stupid. They have no value for human life, and as a result should not be handed any economic prosperity to better their own lives. Humanity owes them nothing..
Users Opinions on this article
Iran should have good relations with ALL countries including Azerbaijan and Turkey, and yes with Israel.
The majority of Iranians are peaceful people. They want to live in peace with other countries.
Iran’s location is worth billions of dollars. All roads have crossed and should cross Iran.
Many FIFA games between neighboring countries are played inside of Iran because it is a safe country.
Iranians want peace and will work towards it to achieve it. We welcome all visitors to Iran. After all, Iran is the number of country in the world for having the most refugees.
Agreed!!! But, unlike peaceful Iranian nation, Akhoonds look for and revel in disharmony, hatred and crisis…all in order to hide their foul action(s), deeds and to divert attention from their insidious misbehavior. They do not have a single friend amongst the nearly 200 nations in the world today. America robbed us free and clear, just because they were aware of that fact.
Rouhani in his speech asks Muslims to improve their image???!!!…Yet, conveniently excludes himsels and his own foul actions and those of the IslamoFascists regime for violating the human rights of 80 million Iranians. They have created an atmosphere that has endangered the highly cultured Persian civilization, putting it in same level with barbarians that we are NOT! Akhoonds have left us with the impossible task of cleaning up and rehabilitation, no matter what we do…whole they are entities responsible for bringing misery to us ALL.
Attacking embassies is the lowest form of action a nation could possibly take…and UN, should have asked for sanctions against that barbarism.
The first take over, American embassy, provided enough ammunition for America…and enabled them to ransack Iran’s wealth, like never before. So much so, that from time to time one feels as if, it may have been inspired by the CIA…
‘Iran could for example pipe its gas to Europe through Azerbaijan and then Russia – with Russian support and encouragement.’
Hmmm… possible, but then again, isn’t Azerbaijan aligned with the US and Israel? I wonder what would be done in an effort to prevent it.
‘More importantly, with Russian gas supplies to Turkey being cut off, and limited Azeri supply availability, Turkey itself will have to buy gas from Iran at premium prices, or import gas from Qatar via ships.’
Isn’t there a proposal to build a pipeline from Qatar to Europe via Turkey? There is a view that the whole Syrian war was largely about competing pipelines (Qatar vs Iran), and neutralising Syria before war with Iran. The Qatari pipeline would solve that problem and its eventual construction is by no means an impossibility, especially in the event that Syria and Iraq are broken up into new states etc.
‘Will Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel be able to undermine this new strategic (energy) realignment in the region? Will U.S. come to their rescue and invade Iran?’
Ultimately, yes, I think so. I doubt the US and allies would allow a new Iranian-Russian gas co-operative to outflank networks under their control.