Deploying Patriots in Turkey is Provocative, Says Iran's FM
Planned deployment of U.S.-made Patriot missiles in Turkey is a "provocative" action which could bring about "uncalculated" results, Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday, according to AFP.
"The deployment of Patriot missiles will achieve nothing but to provoke and result in being forced into an uncalculated action," the minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency.
"Their deployment will be more provocative rather than deterrent," he said, warning that the Patriot missiles would not "help regional security."
His comments came hours after a report indicated that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would not be visiting Turkey, as had been scheduled, likely because of the Patriot deployment. Turkey's Hurriyet daily newspaper said that the cancellation of Ahmadinejad's visit had raised Turkish-Iranian tensions to new heights.
On Satutrday, Iran's top general issued a stern warning to Ankara over its planned hosting of the missile batteries, saying it 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," said General Hassan Firouzabadi, Iran's armed forces chief of staff.
"This is very dangerous for everyone, and even for the future of Europe," he said.
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. 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.
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.”