Fifth, relations between Iran and Turkmenistan
When Kazakhstan pursues active diplomacy and multidimensional foreign policy to reduce pressure from regional and global forces on its own, Turkmenistan has selected neutral status on December 12 1195. In this regard, Turkmenistan is considered as one of the countries of the world. Therefore, Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and Turkmenistan’s foreign policy represent two different directions in Central Asia. The foreign policy viewpoint of both countries provides best serves to their interests. Like Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, Turkmenistan’s foreign policy focuses on the economy. Ashgabat has devoted all his efforts to economic development and export of energy resources to international markets in order to escape political oppression and conspiracy through a policy of neutrality. Incidentally, Iran is an important partner for Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan is the only country that connects Iran’s land border with Central Asia, there is1000-kilometer common land border. Entire land and rail routes from Central Asia pass through here. Therefore, Turkmenistan has a strategic location for Iran and is the land gateway to Central Asia. For all these reasons, relations between Iran and Turkmenistan began with optimism and Iran was the first country to recognize Turkmenistan’s independence.
Iran’s significance to Turkmenistan is reflected in three points;
1. Legal status of the Caspian Sea.
2. Supply Turkmenistan’s natural gas and oil to international markets.
3. The situation of the nearly two million Turkmen minorities in Iran.
Economically, Iran is the second largest trading partner after Russia. Iran was the first country to break Russia’s monopoly on Turkmenistan’s gas exports to international markets. In 1998, the construction of the Korpech Kurtkoy gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Iran excluded Russia from the issue and allowed Turkmenistan gas to reach international markets through Iran. The natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkmenistan was strengthened in 2010.
Iran buys electricity from Turkmenistan and exports it to Turkey. The both countries work together in the fields of energy and construction, and the friendship bridge is one of the common issues between Iran and Turkmenistan. In addition to this, in 2009, a hundred industrial projects were carried out in Turkmenistan through Iranian assistance. Moreover, the development of land and railways between Turkmenistan and Iran is also of strategic importance for the entire states of the region, due to it connects Central Asia with West Asia and the Basra/Persian Gulf. In this regard, the railway between Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, which was opened in 2016, was an important step in increasing trade routes in the north-south and east-west directions.
Consequently, in order to religiously influence Turkmenistan and export Islamic political beliefs to the country, Iran must first transcend the concept of “others”. The Turkmen are also a nation more attached to their traditions than the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz; this is making it difficult for Iran to implement the idea ofexporting the Islamic Revolution on Turkmenistan. Therefore, relations between the two sides will improve through economic coordination. According to the latest analysis, Turkmenistan has an important strategic position for Iran; the close geographical location of the two countries has made coordination and cooperation between them a necessity. Turkmenistan heads to the sea through Iran, which means opening up to international waters, while Iran heads into Asia through Turkmenistan. Therefore, bilateral relations between the two countries are expected to move in a positive direction.