Erdoğan, Rouhani Discuss Sanctions, US
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan played the part of negotiator Sunday during a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, calling on Tehran and Washington to “meet at the point of making the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action operational again,” and telling his Iranian counterpart that “it is important to keep the door for dialogue open despite all difficulties.” Erdoğan, who himself has come under harsh sanctions by the United States for Turkey’s acquisition of Russian air defense systems, also stressed the importance of the White House abandoning its “unilateral sanctions” on Iran and lifting the “restrictions on the prosperity of Iranian people.” More than a month into his term, President Joe Biden has yet to speak with Ankara’s strongman leader, who last week denounced Washington in no uncertain terms for its tepid condemnation of the execution of Turkish hostages at the hands of Kurdish troops. Also on Sunday, another mediator between the US and Iran was revealed when Tehran said it was conducting talks with Washington via the Swiss Embassy. The discussions revolved not around a renewed nuclear deal but around the issue of American hostages held by Iran. The statement was made in response to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s remarks, which called the detention of dual nationals in Iran an “outrage” and a “humanitarian disaster,” and said communications had already begun between the two governments.