Speaking to reporters in a joint press conference with Kosovar Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj, Davuto?lu said Turkey expects Iran to use its effective power to stop the killings in war-torn Syria.
“It is time for Iran to openly urge the Syrian regime to stop the violence. The Syrian regime’s aggressive attacks are the only threat to the stability of the region,” said Davuto?lu.
Due to Turkey’s deployment of Patriot missiles to its border, it has since been chastised on a number of occasions by top-level Iranian military and political officials, who say Turkey is playing with fire and increasing chances of an attack on itself.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has dismissed Iranian threats over Patriot deployment on the Turkish-Syrian border, saying that he does not take the remarks of Iranian chief of General Staff seriously.
Referring to similar warnings from Iranian officials on the possible deployment of Patriot missiles, Erdo?an said: “When we consult Iran diplomatically on such remarks, their response is familiar. They claim that [the statement was not made in an official capacity but that it is the personal opinion of the commentator]. I can guess how they will respond before they actually do.”
On Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi further expressed Iran’s opposition to the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along the Turkish border with Syria, adding that the presence of foreign forces in the region “does not serve the interests of Muslim nations.”“Westerners have always shown that they do not mean to serve the interests of Muslim nations, but only seek to provide for their own interests,” said Vahidi.
Meanwhile, Yahya Rahim Safevi, the military advisor to Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused the US of provoking Turkey in the Syrian crisis by deploying Patriot missiles to Turkish territory, which would lead to instability in the region.
“The US is interfering in Syrian affairs as well as the affairs of other countries in the region. By provoking countries like Turkey, the US aims to spread instability in the area,” said Safevi on Monday according to the Iranian state television broadcaster.
Safevi also claimed that the instability created by the US would harm the interests of the US and Israel in the future.
On Saturday, Iranian Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, whose remarks came after the Pentagon announced it would send two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a larger NATO force to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attacks, called on the Western military alliance to reverse its decision to deploy the defense system, saying such a move risks conflict with Syria.
Firouzabadi said the Patriot deployment aims to protect Israel from Iranian missile attacks and inhibit a potential Russian military defense of Syria. Firouzabadi maintained that Western countries were designing a world war when they approved the deployment of Patriots along the Syrian-Turkish border.
“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,” he said, adding that Turkey, the US and European states should dismantle the Patriots and remove them from the region before shots are fired.
Tehran, a close ally of the Syrian regime, has provided Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with military and political backing for years and has kept up its strong support for the regime since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011.
NATO rejects Iranian accusations on Patriot deployment in Turkey
NATO’s secretary-general on Monday rejected charges by Iran’s armed forces chief that the Western alliance was risking a world war with plans to put Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey’s border with Syria, saying the move was purely defensive.
“I completely denounce these (Iranian) allegations. We have made it clear right from the outset that the deployment of Patriots is a purely defensive measure,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference after talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. “We are there to defend and protect our ally Turkey. We have no offensive intentions whatsoever,” added Rasmussen.
The secretary-general said he believed the only people who might be concerned about NATO’s pending deployment of Patriot missiles were “actors that might have silly ideas to use their missile capabilities for offensive purposes.”
“But I hope that the fact that we have deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey can act as an effective deterrent so that no-one would even think about attacking Turkey,” said Rasmussen.
NATO agreed this month to send Patriot missiles to Turkey to protect its ally against possible attack from neighboring Syria, where a 21-month-old civil war is raging.
The US, Germany and the Netherlands are sending a total of six Patriot batteries to Turkey but they are not expected to be operational for several more weeks.
Meanwhile, NATO has accused Assad’s forces of firing Scud missiles that landed near the Turkish border on Friday, adding to its explanation for sending anti-missile batteries and troops to the bloc’s frontier.
A number of Syrian shells have landed in Turkish territory since the conflict in the Arab state began.
NATO’s German and Dutch troops head to Kahramanmara? for Patriots
A NATO mission of German and Dutch troops responsible for the deployment of Patriot systems in Turkey arrived in the southern province of Kahramanmara? on Tuesday.
The mission arrived in Adana on Monday in a Turkish Air Force cargo jet and spent the night at NATO’s ?ncirlik Air Base.
They were taken to Kahramanmara? on Tuesday morning in two separate buses and are being escorted by Turkish military officials.
Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot missile system, designed to intercept aircraft and missiles within a certain range, in November to help bolster its border security after repeated episodes of gunfire and shells from Syria fell into Turkish territory.
On Dec. 14, Germany’s Bundestag approved the deployment of the Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect its NATO ally against any possible spillover from Syria’s civil war.
Lawmakers voted 461-86 on Friday to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries. The mandate allows Germany to deploy a maximum of 400 soldiers through January 2014.