Patriot missiles in Turkey threaten "world war:" Iran army chief

DUBAI Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:35am EST

A member of the Japan Self-Defence Forces runs toward a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

A member of the Japan Self-Defence Forces runs toward a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

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DUBAI (Reuters) - The planned deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along Turkey's border with Syria could lead to a "world war" that would threaten Europe as well, Iran's military chief of staff was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, in November to help bolster its border security after repeated episodes of gunfire from war-torn Syria spilling into Turkish territory.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian armed forces chief, said Iran wanted its neighbor Turkey to feel secure but called for NATO not to deploy the Patriots in its easternmost member state, which also borders Iran.

"Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war," Firouzabadi said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency. "They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself."

Iran has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule and long a strategic adversary of Western powers who have given formal recognition to Syria's opposition coalition.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order on Friday to send two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey along with American personnel to operate them, following similar steps by Germany and the Netherlands.

Iranian officials including parliament speaker Ali Larijani have previously said that installing the Patriot missiles would deepen instability in the Middle East, and the foreign ministry spokesman said they would only worsen the conflict in Syria.

Turkey has repeatedly scrambled jets along its border with Syria and responded in kind when shells and gunfire from the Syrian conflict have hit its territory, fanning fears that the civil war could inflame the wider region.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (6)
This is like our missile shield in Ploand which in name is supposed to “protect Europe from Iranian attack (ROFL),” but in actuality is there to further surround Russia.

If you look at the map, you’ll see that it is not only Iran which US has surrounded, but also Russia, just in case. I have no idea why the Russians are putting up with this.

Dec 15, 2012 11:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Is it your business to defend Russia and Irans’s position? Why is it a concern to you that Europe has the capability to defend itself from Russian and Iranian missiles. Patriots are defensive. Are you cupset Russians will not be able to intimidate Europe with missile strikes? I find that VERY strange!

Dec 15, 2012 8:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MTterb wrote:
This Iranien moron is either zonked out of his head and he actually belleives in what he is saying or he thinks we are the biggest morons on the planet and we will just throw up our arms and say “Okay, as long as you promise”.

Dec 16, 2012 10:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
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