Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan today told the Turkish parliament that remarks made by Iranian officials on the deployment of Patriot missile air defense systems on Turkish soil are “no doubt unacceptable,” as Iran has offensive missiles with a range of 2,000-2,500 kilometers, capable of hitting Turkey.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi criticized the deployment of the Patriot missiles, describing the move as “provocative.” Salehi’s comments were followed by cancellation of a planned trip to Turkey by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, has also warned that the deployment to Patriots in Turkey were meant to start a “world war.”
Tensions between Turkey and Iran have risen over the Syrian crisis. Iran is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has been one of his fiercest critics and has supported the opposition.
Photo credit: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. 21 December 2012. (IHA/TodayZaman, Ahmet Topal)