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IRAN-Raisi Visit Called Off At Late Notice


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's high-profile visit to Turkey appears to have been called off at the last minute, with the Turkish presidency confirming to AFPthat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no meetings planned for today (28 Nov), and "did not explain whether the visit had been cancelled or postponed." Erdogan had told reporters on 11 Nov that "Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is coming to us on the 28th of the month," with Turkish state media repeating the claim. However, as AFP notes, neither Raisi's office nor Iranian state media confirmed the trip.

  • The two held a phone call on 26 Nov, a day after their respective foreign ministers had done the same, making Raisi's unexpected no-show more of a surprise.
  • While Erdogan has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel's actions in Gaza in its war against Hamas - much to the chagrin of Turkey's NATO partners - Iran has sought to push Ankara further towards fully cutting economic and energy links with Israel.
  • Ankara and Tehran also remain - as has been the case for years - on opposite sides in other regional conflagrations (pro-Assad Iran vs anti-Assad Turkey in Syria, pro-Azerbaijan Turkey vs covertly pro-Armenia Iran in the south Caucuses).
  • Azerbaijan's formalised takeover of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in September has caused some concern in Tehran. Iranian Azerbaijani's are the largest non-Persian ethnic group in Iran, and following pro-Azerbaijan protests in 2020 the gov't is wary of a more powerful Baku aligned with Ankara.

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