‘Ankara will not harm Tehran’

‘Ankara will not harm Tehran’

Hüseyin Hayatsever ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey will never support any action that could harm Iran, the head of Parliament’s foreign affairs commission, Volkan Bozkır, said yesterday after talks with Iranian counterpart Aladdin Boroujardi.

“We gave another assurance that Turkey will in no way stand by any action that may harm Turkey’s close friend Iran,” said Bozkır.

During the closed-door meeting, Boroujardi voiced hope that the U.S. radar system to be stationed in the eastern province of Malatya as part of NATO’s missile defense project would not be used against Iran, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned.

“We know that Turkey is a member of NATO and we understand Turkey’s joint actions with NATO. But we hope that the radar will not be used against Iran,” parliamentary sources quoted Boroujardi as saying.

Noting that Ankara had promised to send a delegation to brief Tehran on the missile shield project, Boroujardi reportedly said: “The delegation has not yet come. We are waiting for it.”

The Iranian official was asked about his controversial statement last month that Iran had captured Murat Karayılan, the number two of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the source said, adding that Boroujardi said he had been misunderstood but did not elaborate on the issue.

Speaking to Anatolia news agency in Tehran before his departure to Turkey, Boroujardi said he did not expect Israel to make the “mistake” of attacking Iran.

In comments on the Syrian turmoil, he said President Bashar al-Assad should launch reforms “as soon as possible,” but added that Iran was “against the U.S. and the Zionist regime [plans to] trigger a civil war in Syria by providing arms and funds to the opposition.”

In a separate development yesterday, Veli Ağbaba of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lodged a criminal complaint against Foreign Ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu over the radar deal he signed with the U.S. ambassador on grounds that the agreement required parliamentary approval.