Turkey at a wait-and-see stance on US-Iran row, says academic

Ankara is taking a traditional "wait and see" position on the recent U.S.-Iran row that escalated with the killing of an Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, and Tehran's retaliation missile attack on a base in Iraq, according to Prof. Mustafa Aydın of Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

"It is a wait-and-see position with a smile on its face," he told Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview. The academic also discusses the possible regional effects of Iran's growing nuclear power.

It is becoming clear that we will not see a warfare soon, but what are we to expect in the U.S.- Iran row?

We will see an extended period of standoff. Both sides played their first moves. While the escalation dominance is on the U.S. side, both sides do not want to escalate the situation. Qasem Soleimani was an instrument of the Iranian state, and killing an instrument does not make too much of a change. But now that the U.S did it, they also went to a top gear to deter the Iranians from escalating.

What do you think the Iranian reaction will be?

In contrast to what many think, I believe Iran has a very pragmatic and strategic thinking at the decision-making level, especially when it comes to foreign policy. We see all these images coming from Iran depicting emotional people; religious fervor etc., and we think Iranians are not logical. That is a wrong assessment of Iranian decision makers. They are very cool customers and they play long games in diplomacy. So obviously they immediately made the analysis that in the short run if they escalate, they will end up in a losing war.

As their ability to inflict anything on the U.S. is restricted to what happens in the Middle East, they quickly decided not to escalade,...

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