Iran, Turkey ties tense on Patriot plan
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Ahmadinejad’s Tehran is concerned by Turkey’s Patriot plan. DAILY NEWS photo
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 Dec. 16, soon after Iranian President canceled a visit to Turkey.
“The deployment of Patriot missiles will achieve nothing but to provoke and, God forbid, result in being forced into an uncalculated action,” Ali Akbar Salehi said in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency. “Their deployment will be more provocative rather than deterrent,” he said and warning that the Patriot missiles would not “help regional security.” At the request of Turkey, NATO has agreed to provide six Patriot missiles to bolster its member’s border defences amid tensions with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Salehi’s comments came a day after 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. After Firouzabadi’s remarks, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a scheduled trip to Turkey.
“His cancellation is because an unexpected event appeared in his program, we have been told by Iranians,” a Turkish diplomatic source said on Dec. 16.