Davutoğlu tells Salehi concerned over latest Iranian threats to Turkey

Turkish foreign minister has told his Iranian counterpart that Turkey is uneasy over recent statements by some Iranian officials with respect to Turkey, Turkish state news agency reported.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. (Photo: Reuters)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. (Photo: Reuters)

Ahmet Davutoğlu was referring to recent threats Iranian officials issued against Turkey as part of the standoff between Iran and the West over nuclear imbroglio and NATO’s missile shield Iran says aimed at it.

“Iran will target NATO’s missile defense installations in Turkey if the US or Israel attacks the Islamic Republic,” Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division said last Saturday.

Tensions have been rising between Iran and the West since the release of a report earlier this month by the International Atomic Energy Agency that said for the first time that Tehran was suspected of conducting secret experiments whose sole purpose was the development of nuclear arms.

The US and its Western allies suspect Iran of trying to produce atomic weapons, and Israel, which views Tehran as an existential threat, has warned of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

“Should we be threatened, we will target NATO’s missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying.

Tehran says NATO’s early warning radar station in Turkey is meant to protect Israel against Iranian missile attacks if a war breaks out with the Jewish state. Ankara agreed to host the radar in September as part of NATO’s missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who met Davutoğlu in Jeddah on Wednesday on the sidelines of a gathering on Syria organized by the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said he does not share these statements and that they don’t reflect official Iranian position.

Foreign ministers also discussed developments regarding Syria and Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey’s position on Syria, state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

Davutoğlu also stressed that security of diplomats and diplomatic missions must be secured, referring to the recent storming of British embassy compound in Tehran that led to diplomatic crisis between Iran and the UK.

Salehi told the Anatolia that British embassy storming is an “unfortunate incident” and that Iran is obliged to protect embassies of foreign nations. He said he talked this issue in some details with his British counterpart William Hague on Tuesday for 1.5 hours.

 

 

 

30 November 2011, Wednesday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,