Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that the United States has expressed increasing dissatisfaction with Turkey’s alliance with neighboring Iran.

U.S. officials said the Turkish rapprochement with Iran would be a leading item on the agenda of talks during a summit in Washington in December and added that President Barack Obama would raise the Turkish alliance with Iran during his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

“It’s not a good thing to make business, at the moment, with Iran,” U.S. Assistant Secretary Philip Gordon said.

Mr. Gordon, responsible for European and Eurasian affairs, met Turkish officials in November to discuss the agenda for Mr. Erdogan’s meeting with the Obama administration. During a wide-ranging briefing, the U.S. official stressed that Ankara and Washington would be required to resolve a range of issues.

“There were more points of disagreement than of agreement with Turkey,” Mr. Gordon said.

In November, Iran and Turkey signed a multi-billion-dollar energy agreement that elicited strong opposition from Washington.

Officials said the Obama administration warned the Erdogan government that the accord sent the wrong signal to Iran amid the international drive to stop its uranium enrichment program.

“Iran needs to be assured that it has to cooperate with the international community,” Mr. Gordon said.

“Otherwise, it will face consequences.”

The Obama administration has also been alarmed by Mr. Erdogan’s statements that Turkey would not support United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran. Turkey, a leading member of NATO, has been a non-permanent member of the council.

Other disagreements between Ankara and Washington were said to include Turkey’s warm relationship with Sudan. In November, Turkey invited Sudanese President Omar Bashir, accused of war crimes in the Darfur province, to an Islamic summit in Istanbul.

The American government has also been dismayed by Mr. Erdogan’s efforts to reduce Turkish defense and strategic relations with Israel. Mr. Erdogan was warned by the U.S. that the prime minister’s policy would hurt Turkish interests in the U.S. Congress.

“Americans watch closely Turkey’s relations with its neighbors,” Mr. Gordon said.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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