Will Turkey, Syria renegotiate Adana agreement?

An ambulance carries a member of the Syrian Kurdish (YPG) militia, who was killed during clashes in Syria, before his funeral in Kirkuk, Iraq. Reuters
Updated 22 October 2019

Will Turkey, Syria renegotiate Adana agreement?

  • Unal said the Adana deal bound the Syrian government to fight the PKK on its soil, and to cooperate with Turkey on all related issues, including exchanging intelligence

ANKARA: With references to a possible renegotiation of the terms of an agreement between Turkey and Syria becoming widespread, experts say it may pave the way for reopening diplomatic channels between the two neighbors.
The 1998 Adana deal allows the Turkish military to enter 15 km into Syria to combat “terrorist activities,” and was used by Ankara to justify its latest operation. But the “safe zone” proposed by Turkey extends a further 15 km into Syrian territory. Egypt and Iran are guarantors of the Adana deal, under which Damascus ended its support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said: “The Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria — still valid — can be the better path to achieve security. Iran can help bring together the Syrian Kurds, the Syrian government and Turkey so that the Syrian Army, together with Turkey, can guard the border.”
Hasan Unal, a professor at Istanbul Maltepe University, said any renegotiation of the Adana deal would require talks between Ankara and Damascus.
“Should these negotiations lead to normalization (of relations) between Turkey and Syria, it would be a major step forward in terms of putting an end to the war in Syria and stabilizing the region,” he told Arab News.
Unal said the Adana deal bound the Syrian government to fight the PKK on its soil, and to cooperate with Turkey on all related issues, including exchanging intelligence.
The deal “created such a positive atmosphere that for more than a decade the two countries moved closer,” he added.
Unal said the deal needs to be renegotiated to give Ankara greater advantages in its struggle against the PKK and the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), while legalizing the Turkish troop presence in Syria.
Dr. Kerim Has, a Moscow-based analyst on Russian-Turkish relations, told Arab News: “Full implementation of the agreement requires direct and open dialogue between Ankara and Damascus.”
This, he said, “would reduce tensions and hostilities in the region, prevent a new conflict between the Turkish and Syrian armies, and strengthen the legitimacy of the Assad regime.”


UN agency: Iran violating all restrictions of nuclear deal

Updated 54 min 57 sec ago

UN agency: Iran violating all restrictions of nuclear deal

  • Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia
  • Known as the JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms

VIENNA: Iran has continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium and remains in violation of its deal with world powers, the United Nations' atomic watchdog said Friday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported the finding in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press.
The agency said that as of May 20, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons), up from 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons) on Feb. 19.
Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).
The US pulled out of the deal unilaterally in 2018.
The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the JCPOA. It is also above the pact's limitations on heavy water.
The nuclear deal promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program. Since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal, Iran has been slowly violating the restrictions.
The ultimate goal of the JCPOA is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb — something that Tehran says it does not want to do. It has been open about the violations and continues to allow IAEA inspectors access to its facilities to monitor their operations.
It is now in violation of all restrictions outlined by the JCPOA, which Tehran says it hopes will pressure the other nations involved to increase economic incentives to make up for hard-hitting sanctions imposed by Washington after the US withdrawal.
Though Iran has been hard hit by the new coronavirus pandemic, the IAEA said it has maintained its verification and monitoring activities in the country, primarily by chartering aircraft to fly inspectors to and from Iran.
It cited “exceptional cooperation” from authorities in Austria, where it is based, and Iran in facilitating the operation.