ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
NATO’s missile radar will draw Iran back to the negotiating table for
talks on its nuclear drive, says prominent former US diplomat Kissinger
Kissinger says ‘Turkey will play an important role regarding Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.’ AFP photo
A sophisticated NATO radar system deployed on Turkish soil would force Iran into restarting negotiations on its nuclear program, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said while also praising Ankara’s role in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria. “The radar system will be installed against a [possible] nuclear threat from Iran,” Kissinger, a highly influential former diplomat, said in response to a question by the Hürriyet Daily News.
“But it will also serve as an instrument to bring Iran [closer] to constructive negotiations with the West,” said Kissinger during an investment conference held by private equity giant TPG Capital yesterday.
When the agreement to deploy the missile shield was announced last month, U.S. officials described it as “the biggest strategic decision between the United States and Turkey in the past 15 or 20 years.” “Turkey and the United States have always been [on the same wavelength], taking the same side,” said the 88-year-old Kissinger, a master practitioner of “Realpolitik” - diplomacy based primarily on power and practical considerations.
The radar system developed by the U.S. will complement 24 interceptor missiles to be based in Romania and will be installed at a military base in Malatya, about 700 kilometers from the Iranian border. A similar system has been operating in Israel for the past three years. “There is no doubt that Turkey will play an important role regarding Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya,” Kissinger said, noting that Turkey “has been acting in a constructive way” toward Syria. He said he supported Turkey’s increasingly confrontational tone in warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his regime’s conduct against its own people.
Kissinger, who served as the secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, likened the “Arab Spring” to a tsunami, after which the difficulty of establishing highly representative governments floats to the surface.
“When a revolution occurs, different parts of society with different values and backgrounds come together and bundle into a huge tsunami,” Kissinger said. “When the waves disappear and the water recedes, however, lingering problems come to the surface.”
‘Egypt may stabilize easily’
In a country like Egypt, which has a strong tradition of statecraft, it might be “easier to stabilize,” said Kissinger. “However, if the country never had rules as a real state throughout its history, [the task] becomes harder.”Kissinger described Turkey as a country “among the rising stars of the world.” Since Ottoman times, the country has always had “a great influence” on many countries, he said.