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NATO presence in Turkey to entail meddling in Ankara’s affairs: Iran MP

8 December 2012 18:03

An Iranian lawmaker has waned that NATO’s presence in Turkey will pave the ground for the interference of the military alliance in Ankara’s internal affairs.

“By establishing a base in Turkey, NATO can easily interfere in the internal political equations of the country and, as an undercover force, align Turkey’s policies with its own interests,” said Seyyed Ahmadreza Dastgheib, the deputy chairman of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, on Saturday.

He pointed to Turkey’s recent measure to deploy F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria and warned the country against meddling in Syria’s internal affairs.

“Turkey has taken the action in an attempt to curry favor with NATO and the decision will portray an unfavorable image of Turkey to the international community,” the lawmaker noted.

On November 21, Ankara formally asked NATO to deploy surface-to-air Patriot missiles on its border with Syria. In response, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance would consider the Turkish request “without delay.”

Many have slammed NATO’ plan, saying it is meant to open the door for military intervention in Syria and spark regional conflagration.

Dastgheib pointed to Turkey’s request to NATO to deploy the surface-to-air Patriot missiles on its border with Syria and the establishment of NATO’s new military base in the Turkish western province of Izmir and argued that the Western military alliance is using Turkey as a tool to help it cement its regional presence.

The Iranian lawmaker called on the Middle Eastern countries to convince Turkey of the fact that regional security should be maintained by the countries in the region and the presence of foreign forces will bring about further conflicts.

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