Iran warns Turkey not to deploy Patriot missiles

DUBAI Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:24am EST

Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani smiles after speaking to journalists at Beirut international airport November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani smiles after speaking to journalists at Beirut international airport November 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said Turkey's plans to deploy Patriot defensive missiles near its border with Syria would add to the region's problems, as fears grow of the Syrian civil war spilling across frontiers.

Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, last week after talks about how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile) border.

"The installation of such systems in the region has negative effects and will intensify problems in the region," Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on returning from a trip to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey on Saturday evening, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) on Sunday that deploying the Patriot system "will not only not help solve the situation in Syria, it will actually make the situation more difficult and complicated as well".

Syria has called Turkey's request for the Patriot missiles "provocative", and Russia said the move could increase risks in the conflict.

Iran has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 20-month-old uprising against his rule.

Turkey's missile request may have riled Damascus because it could be seen as a first step toward implementing a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace.

Syrian rebels have been requesting a no-fly zone to help them hold territory against a government with overwhelming firepower from the air, but most foreign governments are reluctant to get sucked into the conflict.

Turkey fears security on its border may crumble as the Syrian army fights harder against the rebels, some of whom have enjoyed sanctuary in Turkey.

Heavy fighting has often erupted along Syria's border with Turkey. Ankara has scrambled fighter jets and returned fire after stray Syrian shells and mortar bombs landed in its territory.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday no one should be concerned by the use of Patriots.

"These systems are solely defensive mechanisms, and will not become active unless there is a direct threat to our country's security," Davutoglu said, speaking to CNN Turk.

"The aim of this action is to protect Turkey's borders as much as possible at a time of crisis. The Patriots will be sent back when the risks to Turkey's security disappear."

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Dubai, additional reporting by Ece Toksabay in Istanbul; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (4)
“Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles,”

I believe the non-propaganda (normal) way of saying this is “destroy aircraft or missiles”. And you should probably let the readers know the long range of these missiles…

Why are you trying to paint this as a defensive measure??

Everybody knows that these missiles are incapable of shooting down a mortar anyway!

This OFFENSIVE anti-aircraft missile system isnt a “step” towards a no fly zone.. it IS a no fly zone.

So stop lying to us, because once the missiles are in place a no fly zone simply has to be declared and it would be in effect.

Even the term ‘no-fly zone’ is a propaganda term, in reality it is ‘ a threat to shoot down Syrian airforce planes over Syrian territory’.

This is a violation of international law, and the sovereignty of Syria.

Just another one to add to the long list though I suppose, but keep up the propaganda reuters… history will judge you!

Nov 25, 2012 4:30am EST  --  Report as abuse

This is very true. I always thought of the Patriot system as an ineffective “defensive” measure, the only piece of Regan’s Star War system which has seen the light of the day after sucking up billions of our dollars. You know, something to remember that bumbling idiot, senile Reagan by.

But I had never looked at it as an offensive weapon in support of the no-fly-zone of the week.

Also, it would be very convenient for us to have these in Turkey as yet another measure against Iran.

If the Patroit can effectively implement a non-fly zone, from Turkey, it can protect the anti-Iranian Kurdish terror groups not to mention MEK which is still operating in Iraq from Iranian air raids.

Nov 25, 2012 12:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NoOneTells wrote:
Ho thats a hoot turkey is going to support the kurdish separatist groups when it has a problem with its own kurds

Nov 25, 2012 2:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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