Iranian lawmakers criticize Turkey over NATO's missile shield
Iranian lawmakers Wednesday criticized Turkey for agreeing to host the missile shield radar of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Xinhua reported.
According to earlier reports, a NATO warning radar system is going to be deployed in Turkey by the end of this year and it will be used to track missile launches from Iran.
Deputy head of Iran's Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Esmail Kowsari, Wednesday criticized Turkey's agreement with the deployment on its soil, urging Ankara to reconsider its decision, the local satellite Press TV reported.
Kowsari said Turkey's agreement with NATO would cause its people to lose their trust in the country's government, and would change the way Muslim countries view Turkey.
The commission's chairman, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, also said Wednesday that countries in the region should not serve the U.S. interests.
Boroujerdi said the establishment of regional security is the best strategy for the Islamic countries in the region, and "the countries should adopt regional approach in their cooperation," according to semi-official ISNA news agency.
"The history of the U.S. presence in the region, particularly in recent years, has shown that their presence in regional countries will not guarantee the countries' security but threaten the whole region," he said.
He also argued that the plan might have been developed to contain Russia's missile capabilities. "Since Russia is the only country capable of missile confrontation with the U.S., it would be natural that the radar system is against Russia," he said.
Commander of Iran's Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, also slammed NATO's plan to deploy the U.S.-sponsored radar system in Turkey, insisting that it will neither tighten the security for the regional countries, nor prevent all the attacks, according to Press TV.
"The deployment of the NATO missile shield in the regional countries will not provide security to them," Esmaili was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
He noted that imposing limitation on Russia is among the objectives of Western countries to station the missile shield in the region.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday that Iran would never tolerate any attack on the country.
Iran regards the presence of the United States and other Western powers in Muslim countries as an "annoying and harmful element" that disturbs the security, Vahidi said.
Iran started the first stage of a major air drill Tuesday in the northwestern city of Tabriz. The 10-day air exercise came following the reports about the NATO warning radar system's deployment in Turkey.