How strange that the Trump administration, which has been so adamant in opposing Iran, is facilitating the rise of another expansionist Islamic state seeking regional hegemony — namely, Turkey.
Turkey is the elephant in the room in U.S. foreign policy. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan champions his own brand of Islamist fundamentalism. He embraces terrorists from Hamas. He threatens U.S. allies such as Greece, France and the United Arab Emirates. Yet, somehow, he gets away with it.
Turkey and Iran obviously start from very different places. Turkey, for decades, has been a NATO partner and a bulwark against Soviet-Russian power. In the shadows, it was also Israel’s key strategic ally in the Muslim world. Iran, by contrast, has treated the United States as an implacable enemy since its 1979 revolution and has been Israel’s most strident foe.