Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a rare interview that his advice to President-elect Joe Biden on the Middle East is “to try to contain Iran and hope that the Israelis will not do anything provocative.”
Haaretz newspaper said in its English version, that Tillerson said in his interview with Foreign Policy that outgoing President Donald Trump – who worked as a minister in his government – left the world in a worse situation than it was when he took office, something that the minister was not. The former thinks it is possible.
Tillerson explained that he is “very concerned” about Turkey’s divergence from NATO towards Russia, and that is what is understood by its purchase of the Russian S-400 defense systems, and described the relationship between the United States and Turkey as “very important.” And Washington must work to maintain a dialogue with Ankara and keep it in the NATO fold.
Tillerson said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would begin to think about who could choose them within NATO and start to lure them, if he achieved success with Turkey, and indicated that the S-400 system was an important opportunity for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to send a signal to the United States He is “not looking to lean toward Russia and turn away from us.”
The minister, who was dismissed by Trump in 2018, confirmed that Erdogan had issued many warnings to him about the provocative step taken by Turkey, but Putin had sought to sell this system to Turkey, not for economic reasons but for geopolitical reasons, because he knew that this would create many problems. In the relationship between Turkey and NATO.
While serving as Secretary of State, Tillerson publicly acknowledged his differences with Trump over the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and said after his dismissal that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “played” Trump on several occasions, describing him as “extraordinarily clever (…) but … With a measure of Machiavellianism, “which calls for a degree of suspicion during the dialogue with him.
Tillerson also said that Netanyahu is using “misinformation” in his talks with Trump, and “trying to convince him that we are the good guys and they are the bad ones.”