It is plausible to think hydrocarbon resources might be opened up by a border deal between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan but the Iranians would have plenty to say about that.
The chances currently look slim that Uzbekistan will offer a hefty payout on an early investment.
In the two years since Tehran was relieved of the crippling nuclear sanctions, the Iranians have looked for economic progress to their northwest. Russia, however, ensures Iran won’t find both hands free in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
You have to look hard for a successful and enduring politico-economic alliance in the former Soviet space, but one cooperation—between Ankara, Tbilisi and Baku—is proving an exception to the rule, partly by not treading on Russia’s toes militarily.
Why do so many Western politicians and key segments of the international commentariat lavish such praise and attention on someone with such a chequered record?