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Iran reacts to Turkish FM official’s remark on stationing defense shield

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Oct 20, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast here Wednesday evening reacted to his Turkish counterpart’s remarks on stationing of a NATO missile defense shield in Turkey.

According to IRNA, the IRI Foreign Ministry website further quoted Mehmanparast as replying in response to a reporter who had asked him about the comments supposedly made by Turkish Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman, who had quoted Foreign Minister Ahmad Davud Uglu as saying in an interview with Zaman daily that an agreement has been reached between Iran and Turkey on the stationing of the NATO Missile Defense Shield in Turkey, as saying that no such agreement has ever been reached.

He reiterated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s stand regarding that issue is quite clear and obvious, and we keep informing our Turkish brethren about the matter, pursuing their response to it.

An early warning radar will be stationed in Turkey's southeast as part of NATO's missile defense system, the Turkish foreign ministry announced Wednesday. The deployment reflects improving relations between Turkey and the United States, which were strained after the US invasion of Iraq.

The system is a threat against Turkey's neighbors Iran, which has warned Turkey that deploying the radar at the military installation will escalate regional tensions, and the Russian Federation, which has also voiced objection to the idea.

Turkey insists the shield doesn't target a specific country and the ministry statement didn't mention either Iran, or Russia.

Turkey agreed to host the radar in September in the framework of the NATO missile defense architecture, saying it would strengthen both its own and NATO's defense capacities.

Turkey has built close economic ties with Iran and has been at odds with the United States on its stance toward Iran's nuclear program, arguing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff instead of sanctions.

Russia opposes the planned missile defense system, which it worries could threaten its own nuclear missiles or undermine their deterrence capability. Moscow agreed to consider a NATO proposal last year to cooperate on the missile shield, but insisted the system be run jointly. NATO rejected that demand and no compromise has been found yet.

Courtesy for the background

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30621275

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