Iran ups criticism of Turkey over NATO missile shield


From AFP:  Iran toughened Thursday its criticism of Turkey over its plan to host an early-warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defence system, saying it will create tension and lead to "complicated consequences."

"We expect friendly countries and neighbours … not to promote policies that create tension, which will definitely have complicated consequences," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in remarks carried by the state television website.

"We believe that the installation of some parts of the NATO missile system in Turkey will not help the security and stability of the region at all, nor that of the host country," Mehmanparast said.

Iran "condemns any action that creates an arms race in the world and region," he added.

On Monday, Tehran criticised Ankara in a more subtle tone, with a deputy foreign minister saying the missile shield radar would not "improve security in the region."

"Iran and Turkey are two friendly neighbouring nations … and have the ability to fully preserve their own security without any foreign intervention," said Hassan Ghashghavi, deputy minister for consular affairs. . . .

Since Monday, there has been a growing chorus of military officials and lawmakers criticising Turkey. This is a rarity, as Tehran has made maintaining good relations with Ankara a priority in recent years, and has considered Turkey an ally for its refusal to implement Western sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme. . . .

Mohammad Dehghani, who sits on parliament’s presiding board, said the decision to host NATO radars showed Turkey’s "naivete" and its "behind-the-scenes collusion" with the West.  (photo: Reuters)

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