The Corner

Talking Turkey

Officials from Iran and Turkey have announced plans to triple bilateral trade to $30 billion, Agence France Presse reports. Turkish state minister Cevdet Yılmaz said, “Leaders of both the countries have set a clear target for future trade.” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi noted that the two countries have grown closer, with Ankara emerging as a key ally of Tehran in its delicate nuclear negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the Pentagon continue their plans to allow Turkey to purchase the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with its most advanced stealth technology. While Turkey is part of the consortium helping construct the fuselage, Turkey would not have access to the advanced weapons technology until the transfer of completed planes back to Turkey. The Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to demand that the Pentagon conduct a study on the vulnerability of the transfer of its technology. In five or ten years, when it turns out Turkey has allowed Iran to war game against or reverse engineer the cornerstone of our air dominance, remember how Senators Levin and McCain were asleep at the switch.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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