Iran Warns Turkey Against Deploying Patriots
The chief of staff of Iran's armed forces warned Turkey on Saturday over its plans to deploy U.S.-made Patriot missiles, saying the move was part of a Western plot to "create a world war".
"The Patriot (missiles) are threatening. Each one of them is a black dot on the map, (setting the stage) to create a world war," General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by the ISNA news agency as having said.
"The Western countries seeking to deploy the missile batteries on the Turkey-Syria border are devising plans for a world war,” he claimed.
"This is very dangerous for everyone, and even for the future of Europe," said Firouzabadi. "A veteran military man and analyst can easily see this and predict the future."
Earlier this month, NATO agreed to deploy Patriot missiles along the border of Turkey as requested by Ankara to help it defend its territory against threats from Syria.
AFP reported that Germany, the Netherlands and the United States have agreed to provide the missile batteries, which would come under NATO command.
But both Russia and Iran, the most powerful allies of the Assad regime, are opposed to the move.
In August, General Firouzabadi drew the ire of Ankara after he predicted the turmoil in Syria would spill into Turkey whose government he accused of aiding the U.S. in achieving "belligerent objectives."
Turkey formally asked its NATO partners to deploy the U.S.-made anti-missile system after a series of cross-border shellings, including one that left five civilians dead on October 3.
Syria has said that Turkey’s plans to deploy Patriot missiles along its border are "a new act of provocation.”