Iran sought Turkey’s help to mend links with US, says Erdogan (updated)

Updated: 12 March 2009

compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
26 February, 2009

“We are ready to be the mediator [between Iran and the incoming Obama administration] … I do believe we could be very useful.”

[Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interview with the New York Times, 9 November 2008] [1]

“We think the comments … stem from Turkish goodwill and good and growing neighborly ties between Iran and Turkey, so we will certainly not raise any obstacles. But the reality is that the issue and problems between Iran and the United states go beyond the usual political problems between two countries”

[Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi, 18 November 2008] [2]

“Iran does want Turkey to play such a role. And if the United States also wants and asks us to play this role, we are ready to do this. They [the Iranians] said to us that if something like this [an opportunity for rapprochement] would happen, they want Turkey to play a role. These were words that were said openly. But I have told this to President Bush myself.”

[Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interview with the Guardian, 25 February 2009] [3]



[1] Turkish Leader Volunteers to Be U.S.-Iran Mediator

by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, 11 November 2008

[2] Iran not Opposed to Turkish Mediation with US

Fars News Agency, 18 November 2009

[3] Iran sought Turkey’s help to mend links with US, says Erdogan

by Robert Tait, Guardian, 25 February 2009



“And with Iran, you know the Iranians better than we do. You have shared a border for – I think I was told over 350 or so years. So we are going to ask for your help in trying to influence Iranian behavior.”

[US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton, interview with Kanal D TV, Ankara, 7 March 2009]  [1]

“We can contribute to bringing relations between the two countries to a much better place, and our hope is that this search for dialogue will bring concrete results”

[Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, after meeting his US counterpart Hillary Clinton and before his visit to Tehran, 8 March 2009]  [2]

“There is no need for mediation. Our stances our clear: if there is justice and respect no issue would remain in the world.”

[Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after talks in Tehran with regional leaders including Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, 11 March 2009]  [3]


[1]  Interview With Mehmet Ali Birand of Kanal D TV

US Department of State website, 7 March 2009

[2] Turkey to consider mediating between Iran, U.S. if requested

Hürriyet, 9 March 2009

[3] Iran says no need for Turkish mediation with U.S.

Reuters, 11 March 2009


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