Iran expresses concerns over NATO’s Patriot missile deployment in TurkeySouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 19/12/2012 8:11 am in World / no comments
TEHRAN, Dec. 18 — Although NATO and Turkey’s officials have emphasized that the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey is only for defensive purpose, Iranian officials expressed their deep concerns over the issue over the past days.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated Tuesday that NATO’s deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey is a “provocative” move.
Mehmanparast said that any “provocative” measures like deploying Patriot missiles in Turkey-Syria border is at odds with the interests of regional countries.
Such measures are the “root causes of instability and insecurity” in the region, said Mehmanparast at weekly press conference.
He said that Iran has announced its position over the deployment of the air-defense system to the Turkish officials, emphasizing that the stability should be achieved by cooperation of the regional states and any measures which may led to further instability and insecurity in the region should be avoided.
Also on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stressed that the Patriot missiles to be deployed along Turkey’s border with Syria are for “defense” purpose, refuting recent accusations by Iranian officials.
NATO recently approved Turkey’s request to deploy Patriot missiles, and would sent six Patriot missile batteries from the United States, Germany and the Netherlands to Turkey to be operational by the end of January 2013.
Talking to reporters about the NATO’s imminent missile deployment in Turkey, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday that “We have always announced that we are against the presence of foreign forces in the region and do not think it is in the interests of the Muslims,” semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The West has proved that it is not concerned about the interests of the Muslims in the region but minds the interests of its own, Vahidi was quoted as saying.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi also said that the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles in the region was ” provocative,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
Salehi said, for sure, the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles was not instrumental to the security and stability in the region, according to the report.
It was believed that stationing these missiles in Turkey was ” provocative” not “deterring,” Salehi was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by Fars on Saturday as saying that the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles in the region “can pave way for world war.”
“Unfortunately one by one, the Western countries are approving deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey’s border with Syria while they are planning a world war which is very dangerous for the future of humanity and Europe itself,” Firouzabadi was quoted as saying.
“Patriot missiles are a defense line for the Zionists and a result of (the West’s) concern over Iran’s missiles and Russia’s presence to defend Syria,” said Firouzabadi.
On Tuesday, the Turkish foreign minister said Iran should “give a clear message to the Syrian regime to end the oppression” rather than point the finger at Turkey.
The 21-month protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have turned increasingly bloody, with heavy fighting often erupting along Syria’s border with Turkey.