Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles in Turkey is meant to protect the occupying regime of Israel.
“Iranian military officials believe that the reason for deploying NATO’s Patriot missiles in Turkey is to prevent Iran from responding to the Zionist regime [of Israel] if it attacked Iran,” Mehmanparast said in Turkish capital city, Ankara, on Saturday.
Despite strong opposition from Russia, Syria and Iran, NATO approved Turkey’s formal request for the missile system on December 4.
On December 22, NATO issued a statement, saying, “Germany will deploy its batteries to Kahramanmaras, the Netherlands will deploy its batteries to Adana, and the United States will deploy its batteries to Gaziantep.”
All the six Patriot batteries, which will be under NATO command and control, are scheduled to be operational near the Turkish-Syria border by the end of January 2013.
“If something happens in the region, Western countries and the NATO will support the Zionist regime and these missiles will be used in favor of this regime,” the Iranian official added.
When asked whether Tehran would use its gas exports to Turkey as a means to exert pressure on Ankara, Mehmanparast said, “Relations between Iran and Turkey are strategic and the two countries have the best political and economic ties.”
The Iranian official stated that Iran and Turkey would never take advantage of the needs of the other country to exert pressure.
Following the imposition of European Union’s recent sanctions against Tehran, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on December 27 that Turkey would continue buying natural gas from Iran.
EU member states announced on October 15 a package of sanctions against Iran, which focuses on Iranian banks, trade and gas exports over allegations that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran refutes allegations over its nuclear activities and argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.