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NATO missiles in Turkey would defend Israel's 'crimes' - Iran

RIA Novosti

17:25 16/11/2010 MOSCOW, November 16 (RIA Novosti) - The possible deployment of NATO missile defense systems in Turkey is solely aimed at defending Israeli interests, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"There are dubious intentions behind the story which raised concerns in regional and Islamic countries. We are not a threat to regional countries, and the countries in our region, except the Zionist regime, are not a threat to us," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.

"The measure aims at supporting the Zionist regime and protecting it against its crimes," Mehmanparast said, adding "we hope that regional nations would prevent such measures."

Iran has already expressed its concerns on the issue to Turkey, "our friend and neighboring country," the spokesman said.

Turkish media reported last week that Ankara would agree to deploy NATO missiles on its territory only on Turkey's own terms. It said the system should be built by NATO, rather than the United States, that the shield should protect all the alliance's member states, and that Ankara would not allow NATO to turn Turkey into the alliance's frontline state, as it was during the Cold War.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Turkey would not agree to host a missile shield that targeted Iran, Turkey's trade and political ally.

"Mentioning one country, Iran... is wrong and will not happen. A particular country will not be targeted...We will definitely not accept that," Gul said in an interview with the BBC's Turkish service.

Turkey is expected to announce its final decision on the missile defense shield during the NATO summit in Lisbon on November 18-19.

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