Maj. Gen. Yahya Safavi, senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader on military affairs and former IRGC commander, has harshly criticized Turkish foreign policy, which he said was under the influence of Israel and the US.
In remarks carried by Kayhan and other major Iranian media, Gen. Safavi accused Turkey of deliberately creating tensions in Syria at the behest of the US and Israel. He also said that Turkey’s agreement with the US for deploying NATO missile defense system on its soil was a move against Iran and Russia. Safavi also criticized Turkish support for the establishment of a secular government in Egypt.
Turkey's increasingly assertive Middle Eastern policy, its stable and highly popular government and its phenomenal economic growth in a region beset by recession and crisis, has made Iran increasingly apprehensive of the growing Turkish influence in the region. Although other Iranian politicians have also expressed similar criticism of Turkey, but the harsh comments coming from an influential IRGC senior officer and a person so close to Ayatollah Khamanei show the degree of that apprehension at the highest leadership circles in Tehran.